House minority seeks compassion for 'professionally dead' Corona-A A +A
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
MANILA -- The House minority bloc on Wednesday appealed to the Aquino administration for "a little bit of compassion" for ousted Chief Justice Renato Corona.
"We all know that when he was impeached, he already lost everything. He is by all means professionally dead," Minority Leader Danilo Suarez said in a press statement referring to Corona as a "zombie."
"We reiterate that there is no need to hit a man when he is already down on the ground. The administration should be magnanimous in victory, hence, we appeal for a little bit of compassion in this case," the statement further read.
Corona was convicted three months ago by the Senate impeachment court for betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution after failing to truthfully disclose his cash and property assets.
Recently, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) filed P150-million tax evasion charges against Corona, his daughter, Carla, and his son-in-law, Constantino Castillo III. The Justice department has already formed a panel to study the information provided by the BIR.
The former Supreme Court (SC) chief could also face forfeiture of assets, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales earlier said.
"There is no need to add to his burden by filing case after case for forfeiture and tax evasion. In the first place, there was no evidence of ill-gotten wealth during the impeachment trial. What was proven was merely a case of omission in the SALN (statements of assets, liabilities and net worth), which per se, is debatable," the House minority bloc said.
Corona's lawyers earlier argued that the former Chief Justice was unable to declare his dollar accounts in his SALNs because it goes against the Foreign Currency Deposits Act.
Under Section 7, Article XI of the 1987 Constitution, "judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than removal from office and disqualification to hold any office."
It, however, also states that "the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to prosecution, trial, and punishment, according to law." (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)