Koko: Evidence on CJ's alleged US property too late

Posted at 03/26/12 1:31 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Senate, sitting as an impeachment court, will likely disregard supposed evidence in connection with Chief Justice Renato Corona’s alleged properties in the United States, Senator-judge Aquilino Pimentel III said.

In an interview with ANC, he noted that the prosecution has already rested its case in so far as Corona’s properties are concerned.

He said the prosecution only made a reservation with respect to the dollar accounts of Corona, which means only evidence on this particular issue may be raised at any time of the trial.

Pimentel was referring to the request of the prosecution to subpoena the dollar accounts of Corona. This was stopped by the Supreme Court, however, which took note of the Foreign Currency Deposit Act that allows the opening of dollar accounts only with the consent of the owner.

“The prosecution has already rested its case, [like telling the court:] ‘we are now submitting our case to you.' They only made one specific reservation [on dollar accounts]…If foreign properties are concerned, it’s too late in the day,” Pimentel said.

The prosecution ended its presentation of evidence on March 1.

In her blog, blogger-journalist Raissa Robles said she has information that Corona’s daughter bought a property in the United States. She said she will reveal more information in due time.


Pimentel said, however, “the court will disregard all evidence not formally offered. We will not pay attention to so-called evidence.”

He said, however, that if the prosecution uses Robles’ story, they can still make a manifestation before the court. “It is not impossible, but it will not be easy.”

He said he himself will not be “pro-active” in pushing the prosecution to file the proper pleading.

“The only reason to go back is for the greater interest of justice. Of course, the other party will also vigorously oppose a possible move from the prosecution,” he said.

The defense, on the other hand, shrugged off Robles’ story. They said Corona’s children are no longer minors and are already professionals in their own field.