MANILA, Philippines - Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte elaborated yesterday what her boss, President Aquino, has been sayimg on various occasions: there's no way impeached Chief Justice Renato Corona could get acquitted by the Senate impeachment court.
“Given the weight of the evidence that has been presented, President Aquino said he really does not see (an acquittal). It will eventually lead to a conviction,” Valte said over radio station dzRB.
Aquino has said Corona could not escape liability under the 1987 Constitution when he kept his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) in “a locked vault.”
This alone could merit a conviction since nowhere in the Constitution has it been stated that a government
official can conceal his SALN, which should have been made public, Aquino said.
Aquino, in effect, could have referred to the entire 15-man Supreme Court since all of them – except for two – have kept their SALNs from scrutiny.
SC justices – from the time of the late Chief Justice Marcelo Fernan to retired Chief Justice Reynato Puno – have kept their SALNs from the public, saying exposure would make them vulnerable to threats and harassment over pending cases.
The only two justices who made public their SALNs were Antonio Carpio and Ma. Lourdes Sereno.
Sereno was Aquino’s first appointee to the SC while Carpio’s law firm and associates have been rendering legal assistance to Transportation and Communications Secretary Manuel Roxas II, a close ally of Aquino.
In several interviews, Aquino said he “cannot imagine an acquittal” for Corona.
“Yes, given the evidence that has been presented thus far,” Valte said, echoing the prediction made by her boss.
Valte also called on Corona to stop his media blitz and start answering the disparities in his SALN, among them cash deposits and real estate properties.
“The discrepancy between the assets that were declared and not only for 2010 – this starts from 2002 where he started in the Supreme Court and it was proven that they were all his,” she said. (From Philstar.com)