Drilon not interested in 82 dollar accounts; prefers to focus on Corona's SALN

May 18, 2012 9:49 pm 

By Jelly F. Musico

MANILA, May 18 – When Chief Justice Renato Corona finally faces his own impeachment trial on Tuesday, expect Senator-Judge Franklin Drilon not to focus on the supposed 82 dollar accounts, but on the alleged failure of the chief magistrate to report his wealth in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).

”Whether or not it is eight or 80 dollar bank accounts, that’s not the issue because ill-gotten wealth is not the issue but failure to report assets,” Drilon said in a DWIZ radio station interview on Friday.

Drilon said the alleged 82 dollar accounts of Corona in five banks worth US$ 10 million as revealed by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales in the impeachment court was just ‘peripheral’ issue.

”The real issue is if there are unreported assets. If none, then the Chief Justice should be acquitted because that is the only issue,” Drilon explained.

He said that even the claims of the defense that there was conspiracy to pin down Corona would be immaterial if the chief justice has indeed failed to report his assets.

”But if there is no proof of unreported assets, then that conspiracy claim is important. Right now, the defense should show to the people the truth,” the senator said.

He said Tuesday’s appearance of Corona would be the climax of the three-month impeachment trial.

”It would be super Tuesday,” Drilon stressed.

Meanwhile, Senator Serge Osmena III still believes that Corona should explain the alleged 82 dollar accounts as well as the Basa-Guidote Enterprises Inc. (BGEI) ownership.

“These 82 bank dollar accounts, do these exist? If they do, why were they not declared in his SALN?” Osmena said in a media interview.

Osmena said it is important for the chief justice of the Supreme Court (SC) to show proof that he does not own the 82 dollar accounts.

”If he denies without evidence, then he will be in trouble,” Osmena added.

He also warned Corona not to invoke the temporary restraining order that the SC issued upon the petition of the Philippine Savings Bank which cites Republic Act No. 6426 or the Foreign Currency Deposits Act.

“They will not get away with that. The public know those technicalities will not work at this late stage,” the senator from Cebu said. (PNA) DCT/scs/jfm

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