Defense trims down Corona properties

Shielo Mendoza
Yahoo! Southeast Asia Newsroom

The defense team on Wednesday trimmed down Chief Justice Renato Corona's 'properties' from 45 to five.
 
From the 45 submitted by the Land Registration Authority, the defense excluded 17 canceled titles and 12 titles not in Corona's name.
 
The defense further subtracted seven properties in Marikina which they earlier presented that Demetrio Vicente bought from Corona’s wife, Cristina.
 
The Corona camp also removed three parking lots in the Taguig condominium and the other title of a Quezon City property which they say was doubled, leaving five properties in total.
 
The prosecution, however, claimed that of the 12 not under Corona’s name, four properties belonging to his daughters should still be on his name since chief justice supposedly bought those.
 
Meanwhile, LRA Administrator Eulalio Diaz, a witness for the defense, was once again in hot seat as senator-judges continued to question his credibility, saying he may have intentionally submitted a bloated list to help the case of the prosecution.
 
“Why am I not impressed with your testimony? You knew the president’s instruction to the House was to impeach the chief justice. And then you sent a list of properties incriminating him without going over it carefully?” an irked Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago told Diaz.
 
Diaz maintained that he merely transmitted the document and did not go over the list of 45 properties one by one because it is not his job to do investigative work and verify the properties.
 
“You know this is going to be used to destroy and try a public official. You should be more careful not to implicate other persons! This gross negligence borders on malice,” the feisty senator said.
 
Diaz replied, “I'm not a party in the case. I would’ve assisted the defense too.”
 
But Senator Bongbong Marcos still questioned his intent. “May nakabulong ba sayo na hindi bale na mas mahaba ang listahan para mas mapaganda ang kaso kontra kay chief justice?” Marcos asked Diaz to which he denied.
 
Sen. Jinggoy Estrada likewise made the same line of questioning, asking, “Why did you include cancelled titles or those not in Chief Justice Corona’s name? Did you make a mistake or are you in cahoots with prosecution?”
 
“I am not in cahoots with the prosecution panel. It was never my obligation to tell prosecution what properties they should present,” Diaz insisted.
 
Lead prosecutor Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas told reporters after the hearing that the testimonies of Diaz were irrelevant to the case.
 
“Para saan pa ba itong ibinabalik na issue ng 45 properties? Nadedelay lang tayo,” Tupas said.
 
He added that they already made a formal offer of evidence where they alleged 21 properties only.
 
The defense, on the other hand, said they will prove that Corona owns just five properties, which are all properly declared in his statements of assets, liabilities and net worth.
 
Meanwhile, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile told reporters that even if Corona claims to own five properties, it does not weaken the case against him.
 
“One killing is enough to send you to jail. You don’t have to kill a hundred people, ‘di ba?” Enrile pointed out.