Sans income, Corona wife buys P11-M lot

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Senators raise concern over presenting evidence against 'innocent third parties'

INCOME SOURCES. Private Prosecutor Arthur Lim presents Internal Revenue chief Kim Henares as witness in relation to Chief Justice Renato Corona's sources of income (Source: PHOTO by TED ALJIBE / AFP / SENATE POOL)

MANILA, Philippines – The wife of impeached Chief Justice Renato Corona bought an P11-million lot in La Vista, Quezon City, in 2003, without any declared income.

This was revealed to the Senate, sitting as an impeachment court, by Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares, who said that the first time that Mrs Corona registered as a taxpayer was in September 2003, when she bought the 1,200-sq m La Vista lot.

Mrs Corona reportedly bought the property, based on records, from one Victor Boncaling, according to Henares.

Henares admitted that she learned about this only last Friday, January 20, that Mrs Corona bought the lot on the same year that she registered as a taxpayer. Asked by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile why the Bureau of Internal Revenue did not investigate Mrs Corona at that point, Henares said she was not yet BIR head then. She said she will further look into it.

The Coronas unloaded the La Vista lot in 2010. They sold it to their daughter Carla and husband Constantino Castillo.

Senator-judges Francis Escudero and Pia Cayetano, however, expressed caution over presenting evidence against private individuals not involved in the impeachment complaint, alluding to Mrs Corona. Doing so might be trampling on rights to privacy, they said.

The Chief Justice’s Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) show that Crisitna was involved in a family business, Basa-Guidote Enterprises Inc, that was into commercial leasing. But records show that the company ceased to exist in 2003.

The prosecution has already requested for a subpoena to be issued to the director of the Company Registration and Monitoring Development of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), for her to bring certified true copies of the articles of incorporation and financial statements of the Basa-Guidote Enterprises from 2000 to 2010.

Mrs Corona was sued for estafa by her relatives over this company. Read this story here:

Mrs Corona became a board member of the John Hay Management Corp in 2001 where she received a monthly per diem of P20,000 and P10,000 per board meeting (with about 4 meetings a month), based on a story by Rappler editor at large Marites Dañguilan-Vitug.

Her monthly pay would have been, roughly, P60,000. Board members were also entitled to representation allowance.

In April 2007, then President Arroyo appointed her to 4 positions in the JHMC: chairman, president, CEO and COO. She stepped down in June 2010. During this period, she received a total of about P5.7 million, including basic salary and allowances.

Her annual salary, as of 2009, was: P1.9 million, including allowances.

Of this amount, basic salary was P939,972. In 2010, she earned about half of this (P972,148).

She has not filed a single SALN while at the JHMC. All public officials are required by law to submit their assets statement. Mrs Corona has defended this, saying that she and her spouse have filed joint SALNs with the Court.

We learned that JHMC has not released Mrs Corona’s salary for her last month in office in 2010 because she refused to submit her SALN. –

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