By Cynthia D. Balana
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Upon the request of the House prosecution team, the Senate has directed Commissioner Kim Jacinto-Henares of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and at least six others to appear this week at the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona.
The prosecution will present Henares who was subpoenaed to bring the original and certified true copies of the annual income tax returns (ITRs) of Corona (from 1992 to 2010), his wife Cristina (from 1992 to 2010), his daughter Carla (2000-2010), his son-in-law Constantino Castillo (2000-2010), his son Francis (2005-2010) and his other daughter Charina (2005-2010).
Also scheduled to testify this week are the following:
Personnel officer of the Office of the Vice President (with copies of Corona’s SALN from 1998 to 2000);
Giovanni Ng, Megaworld Corp. finance director (with documents related to The Bellagio properties of Corona and his wife and to The Mckinley Hill property of his daughter Charina);
Lourdes and Aniceto Bisnar Jr. of the Fort Bonifacio Development (with documents related to Unit 1902 of the Spanish Bay Tower at Bonifacio Ridge in Bonifacio Global City and to all units in the building sold in 2005);
Grace Evangeline Manankil-Sta. Ana and Nerissa Josef, representatives of Community Innovations Inc. (with documents related to all units in The Columns on Ayala Avenue corner Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City, sold in 2004);
Rogelio Serafica of Burgundy Realty Corp. (with documents related to all units in Burgundy Plaza on Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City, sold in 2003); and
Jamie Eloise M. Agbayani, president and CEO of Camp John Management Corp. (with the statements of assets, liabilities and net worth [SALNs] of Cristina Corona).
The impending disclosure of the ITRs and other tax records of Corona and members of his family has sent shivers down the spine of the country’s chief magistrate, according to Quezon Representative Erin Tañada, one of the spokespersons of the prosecution team.
“The Chief Justice could be very nervous about what will happen once Commissioner Henares reveals his tax records and that of his immediate family members,” Tañada said.
He said this was the reason Corona had ordered his legal counsels to block plans by the prosecution panel to make public these documents as evidence in his impeachment trial.
Marikina City Representative Miro Quimbo said Corona’s tax records were vital to proving his ill-gotten wealth as alleged in Article 2 of the impeachment case filed against him.
“We expected the defense panel to block this new damaging evidence against the Chief Justice because they don’t want the public to realize that he might have amassed wealth that he cannot justify legally,” Quimbo said.
“If he has nothing to hide then he should allow the prosecution to present his tax records without delay and objection,” he added.
The prosecution alleged that Corona had acquired several properties which he failed to declare in his SALNs since 2002 [...]
Read the full story >> Henares slated to bare Corona ITRs this week
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Corona relatives eyed as prosecution witnesses
from an exclusive report by Henry Omaga-Diaz
MANILA, Philippines – House prosecutors are planning to present relatives of Chief Justice Renato Corona’s wife, Cristina, as witnesses in his impeachment trial in connection with the P11 million he allegedly borrowed from the family’s corporation.
Corona’s relatives are questioning the P11-million “cash advance” made by the country’s top magistrate from Basa Guidote Enterprises Inc. (BGEI).
BGEI is a company owned by Cristina Corona and her family.
The chief justice allegedly used the cash from BGEI to buy land in a subdivision in Quezon City.
Speaking to ABS-CBN from America, Randy Basa, the aunt of Cristina Corona, said “We recently became aware that Renato Corona declared in his SALN a business interest in BGEI. He declared in his statement cash advances from the corporation from 2003-2009. There was no meeting held nor any authorization to authorize cash advances. My husband was one of the original stock holders of the corporation. I think we deserve some answers.”
Randy Basa is the widow of Jose Basa III, a brother of Mrs. Corona’s mother Monina Basa-Roco.
Basa said she wants to know who authorized Corona’s wife to lend BGEI money to the chief justice because the corporation was dissolved in 2003 and most of its board members are already dead.
Journalist and blogger Raissa Robles has also discovered that Corona’s P11-million cash advance in 2003 came from his wife’s family corporation that had “ceased to operate legally by 2007.”
Robles made the discovery from Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) documents.
Corona’s statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALNs) were turned over to the impeachment court last Wednesday.
Their contents have since been put under public scrutiny.
Prosecutors said this may show that Corona lied in his SALNs.
Rep. Miro Quimbo, spokesperson of the prosecution team, said statements of Corona wife’s relatives are important.
They said they want to talk to former officials of the now-defunct corporation.
Corona’s defense lawyers, meanwhile, believe that the issue should not be included in Corona’s impeachment trial.
Prosecutors will only be “fishing” for information because it’s not included in the articles of impeachment, according to Atty. Karen Jimeno, a spokesperson for Corona’s defense team.
Aside from the the issue, Corona’s lawyers are also opposing the prosecution’s move to have Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares to take the witness stand.
Malacañang wants Corona’s income tax return (ITR) declarations presented as evidence during the impeachment trial.
Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the ITRs are needed to determine if Corona has the capacity to purchase multimillion-peso properties.
Henares said Corona’s ITRs are linked to his SALNs and income because the documents can be cross-referenced.
“Marami naman made-derive from ITRs atsaka mga assets na nakalagay sa SALN at hindi pa nakalagay sa SALN niya,” she explained.
“Why I’m being called is to show the income of Corona and [his] wife, whether they have enough income to support the assets they have,” she added.
Atty. Ramon Esguerra, a member of Corona’s defense team, said they have filed a motion to quash Henares’ appearance as a witness.
He said the BIR chief’s statements and the ITRs are not relevant to the case.