Sandiganbayan dismisses criminal raps vs Corona

THE anti-graft court junked on Wednesday the pending criminal cases filed against the late Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona.

In a decision, the Sandiganbayan Third Division said that the government prosecutors no longer raised any opposition on the previous motion filed by Corona’s camp to dismiss the existing charges of perjury and violation of the Code of Conduct against Corona following his death last April.

Corona's legal team in its motion to dismiss cited Rule 111 of the Rules of Court, wherein “the death of the accused after arraignment and during the pendency of the criminal action shall extinguish the civil liability.”

Corona, 67, succumbed to heart attack due diabetes complications last April 28.

Last year, the anti-graft division indicted Corona over his alleged failure to disclose some of his properties and bank accounts in his statement assets, liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN) in 2012.

The same year, the Senate sitting as an impeachment court removed him from his post after he was found guilty for betraying public trust and committing culpable violation of the Constitution for having undeclared wealth.

Corona's lawyer Reody Anthony Balisi said that they welcome the decision of the anti-graft division. However, it is not the way the late Chief Justice would have wanted the cases to end.

“Chief Justice Corona would have wanted to see his vindication of the accusations on our firm belief that he's innocent,” said Balisi.

Balisi said that they still believed that Corona is innocent and was just a victim of political vindictiveness of the President Benigno Aquino III following the SC’s earlier ruling to finally distribute the Hacienda Luisita to the farmers. (Sunnex)
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