renato corona guilty
Voting 20 to 3, the Senate found Chief Justice Renato Corona guilty
of betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution for failing to disclose his wealth in his Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth (SALN) as required under the Constitution.
The final verdict is out: after months of allegations and 44 days of public trial, the Senate committee has ruled that Renato Corona is Chief Justice no more. Forced into trial for charges of culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal and public trust, and graft and corruption, Corona became the first Chief Justice and the third public official to be impeached by the House of Representatives in the country’s history.
Those who found the chief justice guilty were:
1) Edgardo Angara
2) Alan Peter Cayetano
3) Pia Cayetano
4) Franklin Drilon
5) Francis Escudero
6) Jinggoy Estrada
7) Teofisto Guingona III
8) Gregorio Honasan
9) Panfilo Lacson
10) Lito Lapid
11) Loren Legarda
12) Sergio Osmeña III
13) Francis Pangilinan
14) Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel III
15) Ralph Recto
16) Ramon Revilla Jr.
17) Vicente Sotto III
18) Antonio Trillanes IV
19) Manuel villar
20) Juan Ponce Enrile Jr.
Only 3 senator-judges found Corona innocent:
1) Joker Arroyo
2) Miriam Defensor-Santiago
3) Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
Corona’s dollar accounts
In the last days of the trial, the focus was on the dollar accounts of Corona. The defense presented a hostile witness, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, who presented an Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) report which purportedly shows Corona had at least $10 million-$12 million in transactional balances in 82 foreign-denominated accounts.
The allegation prompted Corona to agree to take the witness stand, a move which many thought was a big mistake.
Corona debunked Carpio-Morales’ accusations, saying he has only $2.4 million, including interest earnings since the early 1970s, plus P80 million in commingled funds.
He said there was no need to declare his dollar deposits in his SALNs because of the absolute confidentiality clause in the Foreign Currency Deposit Act.
He then signed a waiver authorizing banks to disclose his financial assets, but the Senate merely took note of it since it was not a producer of evidence for either party.
Corona’s move last May 22 to leave the witness stand without being excused and attempt to leave the Senate also proved costly since many senators saw it as an attempted walkout and disrespect of the impeachment court.
He returned last Friday and apologized for his sudden exit from the witness stand.
Corona admitted that he did not disclose US$2.4 million in dollar deposits and nearly all his peso deposits. All in all, said he has P100 million in his bank accounts.
Following his conviction, he is removed from office and perpetually disqualified from elective or appointive public office.
As of posting, he was still in The Medical City in Pasig undergoing treatment.