LRA head says he didn't review list of Corona properties

March 22, 2012 1:10 am 

MANILA, March 21 – On the 33rd day of the impeachment trial against Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Renato Corona, Land Registration Authority (LRA) Administrator Atty. Eulalio "Galland" Diaz III returned to the witness stand.

The LRA was formerly an attached agency of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and is now an attached agency of the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Under clarification questions by the Senator-Judges, Diaz told the Senate Impeachment Court that he did not review the list of Corona properties lest he be accused of "bias".

Diaz said that he is not at fault as far as the list of Corona properties is concerned.

He said that he is not a party to the impeachment case, adding that, he would have assisted the defense panel also.

When asked by Impeachment Court presiding officer Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile why the search is only in NCR (National Capital Region), noting that Corona is from Batangas province, Diaz said that some data in Batangas are not yet computerized.

Diaz admitted to the Impeachment Court that it never occurred to him to search for Corona's properties in Batangas.

He also admitted that he started search due to the requests from the media before the prosecution panel asked him.

Diaz told the Impeachment Court that it took two to three days for their database search of NCR land titles to produce the LRA list.

He said that they do not normally do investigative work, adding that, by practice, they use the database using the TCT (transfer certificate of title) as search engine.

Diaz explained that he did not go over the list of 45 properties one by one, saying that, he merely transmitted the documents.

He said that he has been in the LRA post for a year, adding that, President Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino III was the appointing authority.

Diaz said that he will not accept that he is in cahoots with the prosecution, adding that, it was never his obligation to tell the prosecution what properties they should present.

He said that he understands "et al" means "and others", noting that, some names generated by search may be namesakes and may be covered by "et al".

When asked by Senator-Judge Pia Cayetano on why did he think that he will be accused of "bias", Diaz said that because he will be deciding on what documents to include and not to include.

On why he did not think he will be accused of gross negligence, Diaz said that he is frustrated as his colleagues.

When asked on why namesakes were included in the 45 properties, Diaz said that it was a name search, adding that, it was a mere name search.

Earlier, defense counsel Atty. Noel Lazaro told the Impeachment Court that about the cancelled titles of properties initially said to belong to Coronas.

Lazaro said that several titles were wrongly identified as Corona properties, but are actually registered to developers.

The defense counsel said that some of Corona's alleged properties are actually registered under the Megaworld, Fort Bonifacio Development Corporation, among others.

The defense panel claimed that the five Corona properties are the Xavierville property, Bellagio condominium, Columns condominium, Bonifacio Ridge Condominium and the Burgundy Condominium.

Trial adjourned at 5:22 p.m. and will resume Thursday at 2 p.m. (PNA)



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