May 22, 2012 · Posted in: General
video from government TV network NBN4
SUPREME COURT Chief Justice Renato Corona turned the tables on his accusers by publicly signing a waiver allowing the disclosure of all his bank and land assets, and challenging his accusers to do the same thing.
In wrapping up his lengthy opening statement that took up most of the hearing day, Corona surprised everyone by taking out a waiver and signing it in front of the senator-jurors.
The waiver, Corona said, “authorizes all banking institutions to disclose to the public any and all bank documents pertaining to all peso and foreign currency deposit accounts under my name.”
“I authorize the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the Anti Money Laundering Council, and the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Land Registration Authority to disclose to the public any and all information that may show my assets liabilities and net worth, business interests, and financial connections to include those of my spouse,” Corona said.
In addition, Corona authorized the Clerk of Court of the Supreme Court to release his statements of assets liabilities and net worth from 2002 to 2011 to the public. Previously, the Supreme Court had refused to disclose to the public the SALNs of court officials and employees, claiming they could be placed in danger.
However, Corona also threw in a surprise twist to his waiver; he asked all the 188 congressmen who signed the impeachment complaint against him to also sign a similar waiver, effectively revealing their assets to the public as well. In addition, Corona challenged Senator Franklin Drilon to sign a similar waiver.
Corona said that he will hold on to his waiver and will only submit it to the proper authorities after all 188 congressmen and Senator Drilon have signed a similar waiver.
“I am humbly asking all 188 representatives led by the prosecutors, and Senator Drilon to join me in a moment of truth as a gesture of transparency and reconciliation,” Corona said. “Hinihingi ito ng bayan. Let us face the people together. The nation is at a standstill. Our people are watching all of us.”
“And now, the Chief Justice of the Republic of the Philippines wishes to be excused,” Corona said.
Corona then stood up and walked out of the session hall, to the surprise of all.
Presiding Officer Juan Ponce Enrile appeared irritated with the move, and ordered all the doors of the Senate closed. By the time the order was given, Corona had already stepped out of the session hall, and was reportedly in the Senate basement where the vehicles are usually parked. Defense counsel Serafin Cuevas for his part said that Corona merely needed some time for personal reasons, as he had been on the witness stand for several hours.