Ex-Akbayan Rep. Hontiveros-Baraquel grilled on complaint vs. CJ Corona

May 16, 2012 9:45 pm 

MANILA, May 16 – Former Akbayan party-list Rep. Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel was grilled during the 39th day of the impeachment trial against Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Renato Corona regarding the complaint she filed before the Office of the Ombudsman (Ombudsman) against the Chief Justice.

The defense, headed by lead counsel retired SC Associate Justice Serafin Cuevas, presented Baraquel as a "hostile witness".

Under direct-examination by defense counsel Eduardo delos Angeles, Baraquel told the Senate Impeachment Court that the attachments in her complaint against the Chief Justice were evidence presented in the impeachment trial, saying that, they downloaded the annexes in the complaint.

Baraquel said that the evidence consisted of the transfer certificate of titles (TCTs) and certificate authorizing registration (CAR) testified into by Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Kim Jacinto-Henares before the Impeachment Court against the Chief Justice.

Baraquel said that she did not mention in her complaint that Corona had US$ 10 million.

She also stated in her letter-complaint to the Ombudsman, "various peso and dollar accounts", saying that, they did not mention about the figure of US$ 10 million.

Baraquel said that they only asked the Ombudsman to conduct an investigation into the issue of the dollar accounts, adding that, whatever the Ombudsman would do after the investigation, it is not anymore in their hands.

She said that they were just citizens who wrote the Ombudsman about their complaint against the Chief Justice.

Baraquel said that the Chief Justice has committed violation of the "Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act", or Republic Act 3019.

The former Akbayan party-list representative said that she did not know that the Ombudsman had acted on their complaint until such time that it came out in the media.

The defense presented to the Impeachment Court the letter of Baraquel to the Ombudsman, saying that, her complaint did not allege that Corona had US$ 10 million.

The prosecution did not conduct a cross-examination on Baraquel.

When asked by Senator-Judge Panfilo Lacson if anyone convinced her to send the letter of complaint to the Ombudsman, Baraquel answered in the negative. (PNA)

RMA/PTR

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