Court allows evidence on graft, corruption

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But it disallowed presentation of evidence regarding allegations of ill-gotten wealth vs Corona

IN SESSION. Senators ponder over revelations concerning Chief Justice Renato Corona's income and tax records. Photo by Emil Sarmiento

MANILA, Philippines – The Senate impeachment court on Wednesday, January 25, allowed the presentation of evidence against Chief Justice Renato Corona in connection with allegations that he failed to declare his properties in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth.

Article 2 of the the Articles of Impeachment states the following: “Respondent committed culpable violation of the Constitution and/or betrayed the public trust when he failed to disclose to the public his SALN as required under Sec. 17, Article XI of the Constituion.”

The Senate allowed the prosecution to present witnesses and documents pertaining to the sub-categories 2.2 and 2.3 under Article 2.

These are the following:

2.2. Respondent failed to disclose to the public his statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth as required by the Constitution.

2.3. It is also reported that some of the properties of Respondent are not included in his declaration of his assets, liabilities, and net worth, in violation of the anti-graft and corrupt practices act.

The court announced the decision, which they arrived at in a caucus, as the trial resumed on Wednesday.

The impeachment court, on the other hand, disallowed for presentation evidence related to the other charge in Article 2  (or 2.4 under Article 2), which accused Corona of acquiring ill-gotten wealth.

Sub-category 2.4 states: “Respondent is likewise suspected and accused of having accumulated ill-gotten wealth, acquiring assets of high values and keeping bank accounts with huge deposits. It has been reported that Respondent has, among others, a 300-sq. meter apartment in a posh Mega World Property development at the Fort in Taguig. Has he reported this, as he is constitutionally-required under Art. XI, Sec. 17 of the Constitution in his Statement of Assets and Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN)? Is this acquisition sustained and duly supported by his income as a public official? Since his assumption as Associate and subsequently, Chief Justice, has he complied with this duty of public disclosure?” –

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