Corona to be arraigned for perjury, SALN on January 26
Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) - January 20, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Ousted chief justice Renato Corona will be arraigned before the Sandiganbayan on Jan. 26 on charges of perjury and violation of Republic Act 6713, the code of conduct and ethical standards for public officials and employees.

The Third Division chaired by Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang has affirmed its August 2015 decision rejecting Corona’s motion to dismiss the charges. 

Corona is accused of failure to truthfully declare properties in his statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALNs) from 2004 to 2012.

He has filed a motion for reconsideration after his motion for judicial determination of probable cause was denied five months ago.

“The court finds the accused’s motion for reconsideration devoid of merit,” Tang and Associate Justices Alex Quiroz, Jose Hernandez and Ma. Theresa Dolores Gomez-Estoesta said.

“To be sure, the aforesaid issues have been previously raised by the accused in his motion for judicial determination of probable cause. They were thoroughly considered and passed upon by the Court in its assailed Resolution.”

Corona will face trial for eight counts of perjury and eight counts of violation of RA 6713.

In his dissent, Associate Justice Samuel Martires said Corona should have been given the opportunity to correct his SALNs as provided by law.

“Based on the records of this case, the accused Corona was denied this ‘protection’ which was guaranteed by law to every public official or employee,” he said.

“The ombudsman simply disregarded the clear directive (of the law) to let the accused Corona correct the inaccuracies or deficiencies in his SALN.” 

Corona cannot be charged with perjury and violation of RA 6713 or both because violation of the latter carries a heavier penalty and should prevail over the other, Martires said.

The ombudsman had no authority to file these cases against Corona because the law requires that it is the Civil Service Commission (CSC) that should first determine if SALN laws were violated, he added.     

ACIRC ASSOCIATE JUSTICE SAMUEL MARTIRES CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION CORONA JOSE HERNANDEZ AND MA NBSP PRESIDING JUSTICE AMPARO CABOTAJE-TANG RENATO CORONA REPUBLIC ACT TANG AND ASSOCIATE JUSTICES ALEX QUIROZ THERESA DOLORES GOMEZ-ESTOESTA
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