Prosecution: Corona strengthened our case

Posted at 05/25/2012 8:46 PM | Updated as of 05/26/2012 12:03 AM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - Chief Justice Renato Corona's testimony strengthened the prosecution's case against him in his impeachment trial, a member of the House prosecution team said on Friday.

Rep. Erin Tañada told ANC that Corona made enough admissions in his testimony on the witness stand on Tuesday and Friday.

"For example, he admitted to a dollar account, he admitted to a peso account. He admitted that he did not put his dollar account in his SALN [Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth] because he believes that the interpretation of the FCDA [Foreign Currency Deposits Act] allows him to do so," he said.

"With those admissions already, we felt that it already strengthened our case," he added.

Tañada said they no longer had the opportunity to question Corona on how much he really has in banks because the chief justice's admission that he has $2.4 million came out from questioning by of a senator-judge.

"The amount mentioned is already part of the records of the case. That can be used  right now," he said.

"It simplified matters, and I think it also hastened the process," he added.

Enough to convict

Tañada believes that they enough evidence for the Senate to convict Corona.

"He admitted that 'I did not declare it [cash in bank accounts] in my SALN," he said.

He also said he finds no contradiction between Corona's testimony and the statements of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales.

"With regard to the 82 accounts, she mentioned it's from 2002 to 2011. It's an aggregate period of time," he said.

The chief justice, meanwhile, admitted having 4 current dollar accounts, Tañada said.

"The bottomline question is: Is there a need to include it in the SALN? That is the issue that the senator-judges would be grappling when they make their decision," he said.

Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares, a member of the House prosecution team, agreed with Tañada's statement.

"It's over," he said.

"The admission of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona of a $2.4-million total dollar account as well as an P80-million peso account is very damning indeed because they are obviously not included in his statement of assets, liabilities and networth," he added.

"Ito pa lang ay tapos na ang boxing," he said.

"Also even with submission of his unconditional waiver this has already become moot and academic because the impeachment trial is already about to end. Yet again this is done in bad faith in his wish to prolong the proceedings and divert the attention of the public."