Top Philippine judge ends emotional testimony

The Philippines' top judge on Friday disclosed he had more than $4 million in his bank accounts as he wound up an emotional testimony to try and save his job at his closely watched impeachment trial.

The hearing, beamed live on television to a captivated nationwide audience, has caused deep political divisions in one of Southeast Asia's most free-wheeling democracies.

Chief Justice Renato Corona, 63, will be removed from office and could face criminal prosecution if he is found guilty of three charges including failure to declare his assets.

He broke down several times during three hours of evidence, accusing President Benigno Aquino of using government agencies to destroy his reputation.

He had to be driven to the Senate in an ambulance after feeling faint earlier in the week.

Corona, the last witness in his four-month trial, said: "I have never at any time had $10 million, $11 million, $12 million dollars."

Those were some of the hefty sums mentioned by a special graft investigator at the trial, which is scheduled to wind up next week.

A 23-member Senate sitting as an impeachment court is scheduled to decide as early as Monday whether to convict or acquit the magistrate, who says the money in his accounts was saved up over 35 years, many of those spent as a lawyer.

His removal was sought by Aquino, who won a landslide election victory in 2010 on a platform to end the pervasive corruption that he blamed for mass poverty.

The House of Representatives, which moved to impeach Corona in December, allege that in addition to failing to fully declare his assets, Corona blocked government efforts to prosecute former president Gloria Arroyo.

The corruption-tainted former leader herself is being tried separately for vote-rigging.

Corona declared a net worth of 22.9 million pesos (about $533,000) in his 2010 statement of assets and liabilities, which all public officials are required by the constitution to declare.

The amount was far less than the bank deposits disclosed for the first time Friday, but Corona said a 1973 law guaranteeing total secrecy of foreign currency deposits meant he was never under any obligation to declare them.

Corona said he now has about 80.7 million pesos in deposits and the rest in dollars, bringing his total declared wealth to $4.2 million.

Most of the pesos deposits are owned by his in-laws and his three grown-up children, he said.

Corona began his testimony on Tuesday, when he rejected the charges and described them as cooked up by Aquino. The chief justice then left after three hours and checked into a hospital after becoming faint.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Sy moves up, Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires
    Sy moves up, Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires

    Eleven Filipinos are included in Forbes’ 2015 list of richest people in the world. Filipino-Chinese tycoon Henry Sy Sr. continues to be the wealthiest man in the Philippines. The 90-year-old SM supermalls, banking and property tycoon ranked 73rd among the world’s richest with an increased net worth of $14.2 billion from $11.4 billion last year. Sy’s net worth was attributed to the continued growth of his SM Investments Corp. and his more recent venture, the City of Dreams Manila resort and …

  • Jolo apologizes to Bong in visit
    Jolo apologizes to Bong in visit

    Cavite Vice Gov. Jolo Revilla wept and embraced his father as he apologized for the “accidental” shooting incident in their Ayala Alabang residence, the family’s spokesman said yesterday. Lawyer Raymund Fortun came out of the private room at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Muntinlupa City to speak to reporters, who were barred from entering the hospital compound during the visit of Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. …

  • Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution - media
    Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution - media

    By Jane Wardell and Beawiharta SYDNEY/DENPASAR, Indonesia (Reuters) - Two convicted Australian drug smugglers were removed from a prison in Bali on Wednesday to be taken to an Indonesian island where they will be shot by firing squad, Australian media reported. The planned executions of Myuran Sukumaran, 33, and Andrew Chan, 31, have ratcheted up diplomatic tensions amid repeated pleas of mercy for the pair from Australia and thrown a spotlight on Indonesia's increasing use of the death …

  • US billionaire says WWII Japanese ship found in Philippines
    US billionaire says WWII Japanese ship found in Philippines

    Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen said Wednesday he had found one of Japan's biggest and most famous battleships on a Philippine seabed, some 70 years after American forces sank it during World War II. Excited historians likened the discovery, if verified, to finding the Titanic, as they hailed the American billionaire for his high-tech mission that apparently succeeded after so many failed search attempts by others. Allen posted photos and video online of parts of what he said was the …

  • Another source of SAF execution video identified
    Another source of SAF execution video identified

    The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is still tracing the source of the video showing one of the wounded police commandos being finished off by Muslim rebels during the encounter in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last Jan. 25. A source from the Department of Justice (DOJ) said they have identified two persons who first uploaded the video that went viral over social networking sites. The supposed source of the video was elusive and claimed that somebody just placed it on an external drive. The …

  • Pacquiao big hit so far in Vegas sports books vs Mayweather

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — Manny Pacquiao has always believed he can do what 47 other fighters before him have failed to do — beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the ring. …

  • N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills
    N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills

    North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea and vowed "merciless" retaliation Monday as the US and South Korea kicked off joint military drills denounced by Pyongyang as recklessly confrontational. The annual exercises always trigger a surge in military tensions and warlike rhetoric on the divided peninsula, and analysts saw the North's missile tests as a prelude to a concerted campaign of sabre-rattling. "If there is a particularly sharp escalation, we could see the …

  • World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too
    World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too

    TOKYO (AP) — The world's oldest person says 117 years doesn't seem like such a long time. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options