By Ellen Tordesillas
To those who follow the impeachment trial of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, Eulalio Diaz III, a classmate of President Aquino whom he appointed administrator of the Land Registration Authority, bungled his job, big time, in releasing a list of 45 properties credited to Corona.
But if you look at it from the point of view of the Aquino administration's crusade against Corona and his benefactor, Gloria Arroyo, Diaz did a great job.
Imagine, with a phone call from Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupaz, head of the prosecution panel, he produced the list as his Jan 10, 2012 letter to Tupaz indicated: "Pursuant to your official request for the information relative to real estate properties registered in the name of Renato Corona et al, please find enclosed herewith certified true copies of titles registered in their names."
Diaz related that he employed a "name search" in the LRA data base. He said that it was not only Renato Corona's name that he punched in. He also searched for real estate properties with the name of Cristina Roco Corona, Francis Vincent Corona, Charina Corona, Maria Carla Corona Castillo and Constantino Castillo III.
Properties in the name of former Quezon City Mayor Ismael Mathay and the National Housing Authority appeared in the search and Diaz included them in the list submitted to Tupaz, who attached the document submitted to the impeachment court for subpoena and released to media.
Never mind that the list also included titles of parking spaces. The longer the list, the better.
Never mind that the list has now been trimmed to 21. "Forty-five" has stuck in the public's mind.
Sen. Joker Arroyo lamented the "cavalier" attitude of Diaz about the wrong information he released.
Some may dismiss Joker Arroyo's lament. He is a certified ally of Gloria Arroyo and he is expected to vote for the acquittal of Corona.
But to the public which has to deal with the bureaucracy, we share the concern of lawyer Teddy Te posted in his Facebook wall.
Te said: Nothing beats going over each and every document personally before presenting it in court or at the impeachment trial. After listening to the LRA administrator being grilled about his certification that Renato Corona and/or his spouse had 45 titled properties on record, it became evident that the LRA administrator, who is expected to be official custodian of such records, never did this. The presumption of regularity of official functions, on which a good faith reliance that a certification from the official custodian may be placed, has been severely impaired.
"The damage he has done goes beyond the evident reputational and evidentiary damage his negligence has caused to the House case against Corona--it goes to the integrity of the record keeping of titles in an office which is tasked with precisely that.
"The LRA administrator ought not to wait, he should do the right thing (take the "tuwid na daan"), after completing his testimony at the impeachment trial by : (a) apologizing unreservedly publicly and in writing for his gross negligence (jury's still out, pun intended, on the malice), and (b) resign irrevocably (he shouldn't wait to be fired because he won't be, coming as he does from that privileged set of PNoy friends that we are stuck with) in writing as well."
Resign? Doesn't Te know about the KKK (Kaklase, Kabarkada, Kabarilan), a privileged group of people in the Aquino administration?
Diaz, known to friends as "Galland", was a classmate of the President like PAGCOR chairman Cristino Naguiat Jr, whom Aquino defended for enjoying the junket, with his wife, children, nanny and another PAGCOR official and his wife, financed by a casino that the government office is regulating.
Diaz is one of Aquino's trusted friends. When Aquino was first elected as Tarlac representative in 1998, his first choice as legal counsel was Diaz. But the latter was not available so Aquino got Paquito Ochoa, another classmate who is now his executive secretary.
Diaz was taken to the cleaners by a number of the senator-judges. He suffered meekly the insults of Sen. Miriam Santiago: "I commend your ignorance."
For that, Diaz will be richly rewarded.