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MANILA, Philippines -- Chief Justice Renato Corona allegedly has about P677 million in “unexplained wealth” accumulated from April 2003 up to February 2012 while he occupied various government positions, including the Supreme Court, a report submitted to the Office of the Ombudsman said.
A memorandum submitted to Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales by a special panel of investigators said Corona may have violated the Anti-Money Laundering Law and recommended that the report be submitted to the House of Representatives, Senate and the Anti-Money Laundering Council “for their information and appropriate action.”
“The undersigned investigators respectfully submit that the foregoing findings may involve a violation of Republic Act 9160 (The Anti-Money Laundering Act). In addition, the acquisition of wealth by Subject Corona appears to be grossly disproportionate to his known income as a public officer,” the report said.
The panel, composed of Christopher Soguilon, Ferdinand San Joaquin, R Epicurus Charlo Salcedo, Rholie Besoña and Moses Buzmion, had been tasked to look into purported bank accounts maintained by Corona in response to a complaint filed by Ruperto Aleroza, Akbayan Representative Walden Bello, former Akbayan representative Risa Hontiveros and Emmanuel Tiu Santos.
Copies of the report were obtained by media through Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., who the Ombudsman furnished a copy on May 11.
During her testimony at Corona’s impeachment trial in the Senate, Carpio-Morales disclosed details of Corona’s alleged dollar accounts, saying she got her information from the AMLC, which submitted, on her request, records of the chief magistrate’s financial transactions from 2003 to 2012 to aid her office’s investigation.
The amount of the alleged unexplained wealth was arrived at after adding all Corona’s peso and dollar deposits from various banks for nine years.
For the same period, the documents showed that Corona and his wife, Ma. Cristina, only had a combined income of P30.36 million.
The report also analyzed four condominiums owned by Corona and their respective acquisition costs, which totaled P30,017,869. These were in Quezon City (2003, P2,758,800 acquisition cost); Makati City (2004, P3,588,931) acquisition cost), Taguig City (2005, P9,159,940 acquisition cost), and Taguig City (2009, P14,510,225).
“Analyzing the accumulated wealth of Subject Corona for period P2001 to 2010 by using the acquisition value of the acquired real assets, and the bank transactions in comparison to the supposed income earned and known income from 2001 to 2011, it is apparent that subject Corona has acquired wealth that is not commensurate to his known income,” the report said.
“It is also worthy to mention that the daily cost of living commensurate to the social stature of the Subject’s family as well as travels abroad of Subject spouses have not yet been taken into account,” it said. “Thus, if we are to include the same, it would significantly increase the total possible unexplained wealth.”
The panel said Corona failed to answer the allegations despite being given the chance to do so.
Following is the summary of the alleged unexplained wealth from 2001-2012 as contained in the report:
Net Increase in Net worth: P 8,970,980
Add: Discrepancy in Bank Deposits P 36,770,878
Add: Dollar Bank Transactions dated
14 April 2003 to 22 December 2011 $ 10,000,000 or (P420,000,000)
Add: Peso Bank Transactions dated
16 April 2003 to 9 February 2012 P242,000,000
Less: Combined income of P 30,369,120
Total Possible Unexplained Wealth P677,372,738