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Home Sections Politics Senator-Judges Should Ask Corona If He Can Do the Math
Senator-Judges Should Ask Corona If He Can Do the Math PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Politics
Written by Joseph G. Lariosa   
Tuesday, 29 May 2012 09:38

 

 

By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA

(© 2012 Journal Group Link International)

 

C HICAGO (jGLi) – Was it a typographical error or couldn’t Philippine Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato C. Corona do the math?

 

In his opening statement last Tuesday (May 22), Chief Justice Corona declared: “For the past 45 years since I started working, no month passed without me posting savings.”

If his estimate of “45 years” ago is accurate, then he started saving in 1967, a year after Mr. Corona graduated from high school or while he was freshman in his pre-law degree at Ateneo de Manila University.

But in his profile posted in the Judicial and Bar Council, it was disclosed: “Chief Justice Corona finished his Bachelor of Laws at the Ateneo Law School in 1974. Having married right after college, he held a full-time job in the Office of the Executive Secretary in Malacañang Palace while attending night classes in law school.”

If his opening statement takes hold, by backdating his working and saving capability by at least seven years, Mr. Corona could be liable for perjury.

 

A letter-writer pointed this out to this reporter and said it was “unbelievable” for Mr. Corona and his wife, Cristina, to amass millions of peso and dollar deposits.

 

The anonymous letter writer wants the Senator-Judges to cross-examine Mr. Corona if he did not make a mistake in his claim of making saving deposits “45 years” ago.

 

WANTS TO GIVE CORONA DOSE OF HIS OWN MEDICINE

 

The same letter writer suggested that Mr. Corona be given a dose of his own medicine when Corona affirmed the sentence of Rosalio Galeos, a casual employee of the municipal hall of Naga, Cebu, to 24 years in prison by filling up “No” when answering a question if he has anything to declare in his individual Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) in 1993.

 

Galeos’ co-accused, Federico Rivera, a permanent employee as a plumber (Plumber l) at the municipal hall’s construction and maintenance office, also filled up “No” to the question if he had any SALN to declare in 1995. Because Rivera died in office while the case was pending, Rivera was not convicted.

 

But the letter-writer added the Corona Court also convicted Paulino Ong, mayor of Naga Cebu, and sentenced Ong to 64 years in prison for certifying the sworn statements SALN’s of Galeos and Rivera.

 

SALN COMPLIMENTS NEPOTISM

 

T he case also set a precedent that the SALN can also be used as an evidence to convict government officials for concealing nepotism in appointing their relatives. It turned out Mayor Ong certified the SALN’s of the Galeos and Rivera because they were related to each other.

 

When Galeos and Rivera were asked in their SALN’s, “To the best of your knowledge, are you related within the fourth degree of consanguinity or affinity to anyone working in the government,” Galeos left the box blank in his SALN’s from 1994 to 1996 while Rivera wrote “n/a” that required them to answer either “Yes” or “No,” according to blogger Raissa Robles.

 

It turned out Galeos and Mayor Ong were first cousins while Rivera's mother-in-law was the sister of Mayor Ong's mother.

 

In the case of Chief Justice Corona, he wrote “N/A” (Not Applicable) to the same question whether he had a relative in government in 2006. He did not disclose that his wife sat on the board of a government-owned corporation from 1993 to 1996.

 

The writer took exception to the statement of one of the defense lawyers of Mr. Corona, Tranquil Salvador, III, who trivialized the “N.A.” written by Mr. Corona in his SALN “as minor misdemeanor” when Mr. Corona imposed the “maximum eight-year imprisonment” on Galeos and Ong as penalized by Art. 171 of the Revised Penal Code as amended.

 

By snubbing the letter sent by the Ombudsman, seeking comment on the findings of the COA (Commission on Audit) dated Aug. 8, 2009, Oct. 11, 2009 and Dec. 23, 2009, the letter writer said, Mr. Corona and his wife, Cristina, are giving the impression that they are above law.

 

The writer said one of Mr. Corona’s defense lawyers, Ramon Esguerra, was quoted as saying that the Chief Justice “would not comment on the letter sent by the Ombudsman.” # # #

 

Editor’s Note: To contact the author, please e-mail him at: (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)



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Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 May 2012 09:44
 

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