March 20, 2012 · Posted in: General

Diaz grilled for ‘careless list’

LAND REGISTRATION AUTHORITY administrator Eulalio Diaz came under fire from Senator-Judges for his “inappropriate” release of a list of 45 properties allegedly owned by Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona and his wife Cristina that was later found to be bloated.

Diaz had provided the list to impeachment prosecutors last January 10 on the request of lead prosecutor Niel Tupas, saying the list was “pursuant to the official request relating to real estate properties registered in the name of Renato Corona” and his wife Cristina, “et al.”

Some Senator-Judges questioned the inclusion of the words “et al,” asking who could have been included in the search since “et al” is such an all-encompassing phrase.

The list was later proven to be bloated because they included properties that had previously been sold or transferred to other people. Defense lawyers say that the Coronas now own only five real properties, while prosecution lawyers say they can still prove that Corona still owns 21. Either way, either number is far from the original 45 released by Diaz to the prosecutors.

Responding to questions from Senator-Judge Pia Cayetano, Diaz said the original list of 45 was based on a general name search for Renato Corona, meaning Corona could have been a previous owner of any of the results. As such, Diaz said, the list he gave to prosecutors does not necessarily show that Corona still owned the property.

However Cayetano pointed out that in his letter to Tupas, Diaz said that he was providing him a list of “the real properties registered in the name of Corona.”

“It would appear you are certifying that registered in the name of Corona are these properties,” Cayetano said. “Why could you not have said that this was based on a general name search?”

“When you issue a certification like this, you should do this as a diligent head of your agency,” Cayetano added.

Cayetano said that Diaz should have exercised extreme care in handling and releasing this information, considering that the data would be used in the impeachment complaint.

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