Defense: 'Too good, too soon to conclude'

January 26, 2012 11:23 pm 

By Perfecto T. Raymundo, Jr.

MANILA, Jan. 26 – Defense Spokesman lawyer Tranquil Salvador III on Thursday questioned the celebratory mood of the prosecution saying that "it is too good, too soon to conclude."

"The Prosecution evidence on income of CJ Corona is incomplete thereby making their conclusion malicious. The Defense has not been opposing the release of CJ Corona's SALNs (Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth and ITR (Income Tax Return) but it has to be made properly, based on a simple, clear and understandable charge," which the Impeachment Court has so ruled yesterday. The presentation of evidence should also be according to the rules of the Impeachment Court," Salvador said.

"What did we learn yesterday?" he said, "the BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue) national office has no records of his income from FY2002-2005."

"Henares (BIR Commissioner Kim Jacinto-Henares) must at least be asked two things: 1) compensation income does not include allowances that are tax-exempt; 2) anyone can acquire and own property such as inheritance or borrowing, and such property may be sold after," Salvador said.

He said that the tax known as capital gains tax is a final tax paid by seller.

Without payment of tax, no certificate authorizing registration (CAR) can be issued by BIR, Salvador said.

Moreover, he said, there were also instances where one buys a property without causing the transfer of title to his name.

"Do not look far!" a message another Defense Spokesman Atty. Ramon Esguerra, suggested to the prosecution.

Esguerra was a former Undersecretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The "SALNs show CJ Corona borrowed P11 million to pay for La Vista property. This was later sold for P18 million. CJ Corona also sold Ayala Heights lot for P8 million," Esguerra said.

He suggested to the prosecution "to do basic math."

Esguerra said that P18 million plus P8 million would give you P26 million for the La Vista and Ayala Heights properties.

The two major condo units cost a total of P24 million, he said.

The Marikina lots, "inherited by Mrs. Corona, were sold and proceeds of which went into savings or used to buy properties, possibly Burgundy first and then Columns," Esguerra said.

A very old house and lot in Xavierville was inherited and CJ and Mrs. Corona lived there for the last 40 years, he said.

Defense Spokesperson Atty. Karen Jimeno said that, "From Day 1, the Chief Justice has already said he will fight this battle head on."

"We have not seen any damning evidence up to this time. As soon as we get our turn, the Defense will show the Chief Justice is completely innocent of all the charges. The fight has just begun for the Defense," Jimeno said. (PNA)

RMA/PTR

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