Thrifty with the truth

The mirror image of being thrifty with the truth is being lavish with lies. They are one and the same. At the impeachment trial at the Senate, unraveling from submitted Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth (SALN), both reveal frugal truths against preponderant falsehoods.

That the Chief Justice seems to have been snared by his SALN is an understatement. Three weeks into his trial, and still barely scratching the surface of two short paragraphs under Article II of the eight Articles of Impeachment, the gap between what were filed as truth and what now appears as glaring inconsistencies is getting wider by the day.

In baseball, three strikes and one’s bat is taken away. In the details of exhibits scheduled for acceptance as evidence, already there is preponderance beyond the three needed to separate His Honor from his gavel. Certainly there is more than the single necessary to convict.

In the virtual bleachers outside the trial where the public is neither constrained by niceties nor constricted by processes, let us go through an ever-growing list of inconsistencies from which explanations are demanded.

The first is a case where truth recorded under the SALN seems grossly inadequate.

Titled in 1993, a 460-square-meter lot purchased in Old Balara with a fair market value of P3 million appears in the Chief Justice’s 2002 SALN. Its values have remained consistent from his SALN in 1993 through to 1996 and then in 2002.

In 2003, however, the postings changed. The mode of acquisition consistently recorded as a “purchase” was changed to reflect installments. Such alteration is important. For the former, no liabilities are recorded. For the latter, net-to-close payables must appear.

Moreover, the assessed value of P30,000 consistently recorded from 1993 to 2002 changed to P172,500.00 in 2003. Curiously, the fair market value remained constant. This raises questions as fair market values dovetail assessed values, the latter changing only upon assessments. When updated as was obviously the case in 2003, fair market values should also have been updated.

By 2010, this property vanishes from the SALN. It was sold for P8 million or, based on its fair market value, an appreciation averaging over P715,000 a year from 2003 to 2010.

The second case involves property along Katipunan Avenue.

In 2003, the SALN reflected a condominium purchased in 1997. The 2004 SALN shows the title was transferred upon full payment in 2003. This means that between 1997 and 2003, installment liabilities were incurred. As in the Old Balara property, installments compel net-to-close payables prior to full payment. In 2002, with one year to go prior to full payment, no liabilities were recorded.

The SALN is basically a balance sheet recording what is owned against what is owed. It is a static portrait of net worth true only for a specific point in time. Without comparisons against other years it is merely indicative. Worse, the SALN remains sorely inadequate when it comes to revenues from which taxes are derived.

Documents at the Impeachment Court reveal the Chief Justice’s 2003 SALN reflected a P3-million fair market value 1,200-square-meter property purchased in La Vista correctly recorded at its acquisition price of P11 million. In 2010, it was transferred through a sale. The selling price was P18 million, or an appreciation of P15 million, from the fair market value in 2003, and P7 million from the acquisition cost.

It is interesting to note that the La Vista property had been correctly recorded at its acquisition cost. In 2010, this time in a purchase involving a 300-square-meter Bellagio penthouse in Taguig, the property was not recorded at its acquisition cost of P14.5 million but was rather recorded at P6.8 million, the proposed zonal valuation for pieces of property in the area, or P7.7 million less than its acquisition value.

The difference is recording bases impacts on applicable taxes.

Beyond the issue of taxes and consistency in accounting for assets, the values a SALN records must follow accepted accounting protocols where assets are recorded at its acquisition cost. Not even magistrates are allowed to record at acquisition cost in one SALN and then under zonal valuation in others.

The SALNs in question seem to have been frugal with the truth yet lavish with contradictions. While the impeachment trial plods through its first inning, already three strikes demand explanations from one invested with the nation’s most precious trust.

Yankees catcher Yogi Berra once said, “It ain’t over until it’s over.” Last January 9, on the Bellagio purchase, a broadsheet quoted defense counsel as having said “Until now, that is not yet fully paid.” Last Tuesday the seller testified full payment was made within a year’s time.

Strike four!

Republished with permission from Dean dela Paz

Dean dela Paz

  • Mcmacavinta


    Chief Justice Renato Corona wants to project the image that he is a loving husband to his wife, Cristina. The fact is, the Chief Justice has not only betrayed the public trust but most importantly, has betrayed his marital vow. 

    If the Chief Justice is man enough, He should admit the fact that he has a long-standing romantic relationship with a gentle lady named EVA with whom the Chief Justice has two (2) illegitimate sons. EVA also hails from Batangas and had her education from Assumption College just like his wife Cristina who also graduated earlier from the same school.

    For Chief Justice Renato C. Corona not to mention his children with EVA as if they do not exist at all, is the highest form of ignominy and immorality that he can commit not only against his legitimate wife and family but against his oath as the highest magistrate of the land.

    An inquiry into his relationship with EVA and his illegitimate children in connection with the on-going impeachment trial becomes extremely necessary in the light of the properties given by the Chief Justice to them. EVA, who has previously undergone a heart bypass operation, is known not to have worked from the time she had this romantic liaison with the Chief Justice nor does she have any known business of her own and yet, EVA is luxuriously living in the United States, together with her two (2) illegitimate children with the good Chief Justice.

    The SALN of CJ Corona does not indicate any such properties. 

    And the reason for the frequent trips of CJ Corona to the United States, the latest of which was late last year, was to visit EVA and his children with her. That CJ Corona could afford to support the kind of luxurious lifestyle of EVA and her children in the U.S. is certainly for the Chief Justice to explain considering his small salary.

    A simple investigation on the identity and circumstances of EVA can easily be done by a simple inquisition in Batangas as well as from the classmates, relatives and friends of EVA and of CJ Corona.

    I know these facts because EVA is a relative of mine and it pains me immensely to see the Chief Justice professing his love for Cristina on nationwide television when he has confessed to my relative that he loves her far more than his wife. In fact, the Chief Justice made EVA believe that he was already separated from his wife Cristina. This probably explains why for the longest time, the Chief Justice has not reported in his SALN the fact of Cristina’s working in government and the fact that Cristina has not signed the SALNs as his wife. 

    Betrayal of public trust? This is a small matter than what the Chief Justice has done to his wife and family which constitutes the highest form of immoral act – BETRAYAL OF MARITAL TRUST.

    Real name of CJ Corona’s girlfriend – Eva Auria; She hails from Rosario, Batangas; She graduated from Assumption College (not from Maryknoll College) She has two (2) sons with CJ Corona who are now in their teens; She is residing now in the United States. CJ Corona’s wife, Cristina, knows about the elicit relationship of her husband with Eva. To know more about the details on Eva, a simple investigation of Eva’s background in Rosario Batangas and Assumption College would elicit the necessary informations.  Eva has plenty of properties in the US.  They keep secret the exact address.  The bagman of CJ Corona (who facilitates the transfer of funds from Corona to Eva is “Abet” who is a relative by affinity of Eva, being married to a stepsister of Eva.  (The wife of Abet has the same mother as Eva but different Fathers).  The biggest delivery to Eva involves the bribe money given by the Aguirres of Banco Filipino.

    If the bank accounts of CJ Corona and his wife are opened, it will not be a surprise to see a running balance of not less than P200M.  The bribe from the owner of the previously closed alone was a whopping P200M.  And most money went to Eva through the Assistance of Abet.

    The sons of Corona carry the name of the mother.  But CJ Corona has openly recognized Ate Eva’s sons as his. A simple search at the NSO using “Renato C. Corona” would readily reveal this.  For a time, when Eva was still in the Philippines, Renato and Eva lived as husband and wife.  In fact, all our relatives in Rosario, Batangas and in the United States, knew the long-standing relationship.  We all thought that Renato was already separated from Cristina.  Some of Renato’s relatives in Tanuan, Batangas where he hailed from, know about this relationship.  Some friends of Renato have seen the 2 sons and have been their ninongs.  All our relatives thought really that Renato will never deny his relationship with Ate Eva.  Sana hindi nya gagawin iyon kasi kawawa sya at ang mga bata.

    • Anonymous

      Matinong tao nga itong si Cj kung ihambing sa diablo.

  • J_ag

    So now everyone knows that Corona simply followed the laws on the SALN more in the breach of 
    what is ti was meant for. 

    The Philippine State has so many laws on the books related to anti-graft and corrupt practices.  

    But the problem remains that there does not seem to be a groundswell for laws to be followed and implemented by the State institutions tasked to do the same. 

    That is why the endemic nature of corruption remains. There is no fear of the law… 

  • Anonymous

    Rene Saguisag is putting the spotlight on lawyers working for free  — to be on CJ Corona team.  These lawyers must be crazy, do they not understand what their lawyering means?  This means they have identified themselves clearly and plainly as –enemies of the State- going against -Malakanyang-  daan matuwid .

    Ang hula ko, wala silang ambisyon to get to get “letter of recommendation” from de Lima, Valte, MLQ3, Lacierda and the Persidente clan,