May 22, 2012 · Posted in: General
video from government station NBN4
SUPREME COURT Chief Justice Renato Corona today admitted investing his family’s resources in foreign exchange, saying this was as a result of the bitter wrangling of his wife’s family in several property disputes.
In the second part of his lengthy opening statement before the senate impeachment court, Corona said his family had preferred to make cash investments instead of dabbling in properties because of the bad experience of his wife Cristina Roco-Corona.
“Mahirap intindihin ito kung di ko ibabahagi sa inyo ang masaklap na nangyari sa pamilya ng aking asawa,” Corona told the court.
“Itong experience ng pamilya ng misis ko ang dahilan kung bakit wala kaming masyadong hilig mag invest sa properties, at ininvest instead sa foreign exchange,” Corona said.
It was the first time that Corona acknowledged, at least indirectly, investing in foreign exchange. Earlier, prosecutors had tried to pin Corona down on allegations that he owned several significant dollar accounts in Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank) and the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), but were stymied by the foreign currency deposits act that shrouded all foreign currency deposits under a veil of absolute confidentiality.
Then last week, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales stunned senator-jurors by disclosing the existence of 82 dollar accounts allegedly owned by Corona. Morales said they had computed transactions amounting to $12 million in the alleged Corona accounts. The data, Morales said, was based on an investigation by the Anti Money Laundering Council.
“Ininvest nalang namin sa foreign exhcnage para hindi mawalan ng halaga at madali paghatihatian kapag may mangyari sa amin, walang problema at walang inggitan,” he said.
Corona said he was not comfortable telling the public about the bitter family feud. However, he said he no longer had any choice as his wife’s family had been painted in a very bad light.
Corona said the real reason for the family feud was the ownership of a two and a half hectare property in Libis, Quezon City, now “conservatively” worth P2.5 billion.
Corona said that his wife’s father Jose Mario Basa III had somehow registered the property under his sole name, to the disadvantage of Cristina Corona’s mother Asuncion Basa-Roco.
Corona said this showed that his wife’s side of the family was really the victim, and not the oppressor.