Corona arraignment on tax raps reset anew
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - September 7, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The scheduled arraignment of impeached chief justice Renato Corona on six of the 12 counts of tax evasion charges filed against him was again deferred yesterday. 

The Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) Second Division reset the arraignment of the former magistrate on Oct. 7. 

Records show that Corona has filed a motion for the issuance of a preliminary prohibitory injunction with urgent prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order before the CTA en banc, where he earlier filed a petition for review. 

The petition was filed after the Second Division denied his motion for reconsideration seeking the dismissal of the six counts of charges filed against him for violating Section 254 of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC), or the attempt to evade or defeat the payment of taxes.

Corona was already arraigned on other six counts of charges for allegedly violating Section 255 of the NIRC, which imposes penalties on failure to file or supply correct information in income tax returns.

He refused to enter a plea, prompting the court to enter a not guilty plea for him.

CTA records showed that the arraignment of Corona has been scheduled 10 other times since the case was filed in 2014. 

The suspensions were mainly due to the pending motions and appeals that the camp of the former chief justice have filed before the CTA and the Department of Justice.

The tax cases were based on the complaint filed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), which said the charges also made him civilly liable to the state for almost P120.5 million, inclusive of surcharges and interest.

It said Corona earned income from other sources aside from his compensation as a public official, which is contrary to his registration with the BIR as a “pure compensation income earner.”

Corona, in his defense, claimed that the period of filing of criminal charges for the years 2002 to 2007 has already prescribed, and that the evidence presented by the BIR – particularly his bank deposits – are inadmissible as the waiver he executed has expired following the conclusion of the impeachment trial.

The waiver, executed during the trial, authorized appropriate authorities to inspect his bank accounts.

Corona also said that the BIR failed to take into account his family’s wealth in computing his opening net worth, as well as the fact that the money in his bank accounts belonged to other persons.

ACIRC BIR BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE CHARGES CORONA COURT OF TAX APPEALS DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE FILED NATIONAL INTERNAL REVENUE CODE RENATO CORONA SECOND DIVISION
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