Enrile explains ruling disallowing introduction of evidence on alleged ill-gotten wealth

January 25, 2012 11:09 pm 

By Jelly F. Musico

MANILA, Jan. 25 – Presiding officer Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile on Wednesday explained the impeachment court ruling disallowing the prosecution from introducing evidence on the alleged ill-gotten wealth in the impeachment trial of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona.

”Ill-gotten is a conclusion, so they have to present evidence. That’s why the factual matter that requires evidence is in paragraphs two and three,” Enrile said after the day 6 of the impeachment trial adjourned at 5:15 p.m.

During the trial, Enrile allowed the prosecution to introduce documents, through Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) commissioner Kim Henares, including certificate authorizing registration (CAR) of the properties purchased and sold by Corona and wife Cristina.

”We allowed paragraphs 2.2 and 2.3 because these are connected in the 2.4. So whether these unreported and excluded assets are ill-gotten wealth or legally-gotten wealth, they’ll have to be decided once the evidence of the assets is already evident,” Enrile said.

Under Article 2 of the impeachment complaints, the paragraph 2.2 refers to Corona’s failure to disclose to the public his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth while 2.3 questions the respondent’s non-inclusion in his SALN some of his properties.

On the other hand, the prosecutors accused under paragraph 2.4 the respondent of having accumulated ill-gotten wealth, acquired assets of high values and keeping bank accounts with huge deposits.

”On the assets not included, they (prosecutors) have to prove it and that’s what they are doing now. Now, if it is legally-gotten, or illegally-gotten, that’s the conclusion. They have to show basis that he has bank deposits and which bank and not subpoena the bank without evidence,” Enrile further explained.

With the presentation of Henares as witness with the permission of President Benigno Aquino III, Enrile described the sixth day of impeachment trial as “very smooth.”

Asked by senator-judge Ralph Recto, Henares told the impeachment court that Corona did not personally file income tax returns (ITRs) from 2002-2010 because he was included in “alpha list” because he was termed by the BIR as local employee of the SC.

Based on the alpha list, Corona has been deducted with income tax return from 2006 to 2010 ranging from P465,000 to P657,755.57.

Henares said that Corona’s wife Cristina had no tax record except in Sept. 9, 2003 when she paid tax for property transaction for La Vista property involving P11 million.

The rest of Henares testimony was markings of the certificate authorizing registration (CAR) of the Corona’s properties, which already listed in his SALN.

Unable to finish the markings, the prosecution has asked the court to direct Henares to continue the markings on Thursday morning.

With this, Enrile adjourned the sixth day of trial at 5:15 p.m. (PNA) RMA/jfm

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