Cities told to present CJ Corona’s land titles

MANILA.  The Senate issued yesterday a subpoena ordering the officials of the Registers of Deeds of different cities to produce the land titles supposedly in the name of Chief Justice Renato Corona and his family.

Early in the second day of trial, Senate President and Presiding Judge Juan Ponce Enrile said: “I have signed the request for subpoena against the respective Registers of Deeds of the various cities, where these claimed real estate are located, including subpoena duces tecum on properties for them to produce the certificates.”

He earlier turned down the request to summon Corona himself and his family, saying this would violate a person’s right against self-incrimination.

Senator-judge Alan Peter Cayetano expressed reservations insofar as the request for summons of Corona’s wife Cristina and their kids.

Enrile then asked for a vote, and 14 senator-judges agreed with Enrile while 6 voted against.

Despite this, Enrile said the prosecution still has the means to prove its case.

“I think the prosecution has all the means to obtain the evidence properly, if they apply the rules of evidence,” he said.

Last week, the prosecution claimed Corona was able to acquire over 40 real estate properties in Metro Manila supposedly amounting to more than P200 million, many of which are not in his Statement of Assets Liabilities and Net worth (SALN).

Corona disputed this saying the prosecution’s list was bloated. He admitted to owning only 5, including a P14 million condominium at the posh The Bellagio in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.


The Senate, sitting as an impeachment court, denied the prosecution’s request to summon Chief Justice Renato Corona and his family to explain the circumstances behind the acquisition of their real properties.

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, however, expressed reservations insofar as the request for summon for Corona’s wife Cristina and their kids.

Presiding Judge and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile later asked for a division of the court. After around 30 minutes of suspension, 14 senator-judges voted that the request for summons be denied; 6 senator-judges voted in favor.

In a resolution read by Senate Secretary General Emma Lirio Reyes minutes after the trial opened on its second day, the impeachment court said the move will run afoul against Corona’s right against self-incrimination.

The court also said Corona can’t testify against himself as prescribed under the Constitution. “If convicted, the respondent would suffer a penalty of removal from office…[The subpoena would violate his right against self-incrimination].”

The court also quashed the request to have Corona’s wife Cristina summoned by virtue of the “marital disqualification rule.” The Senate said it respects the confidentiality of the private life between husband and wife.

It said the case is not against Corona and his wife being pitted against each other.

The same decision was arrived at in connection with their children Carla and Francis by virtue of “parental and filial privilege.”

The children-in-law of the Corona couple could also not be summoned because of the doctrine of “necessary implication.” This means that what is already implied in a statute should be implemented in a similar case, referring to the “parental and filial privilege”.

The prosecution subsequently asked for time to file a motion for reconsideration. Senate President and Presiding Judge Juan Ponce Enrile warned, however, that “I am advancing to you that your request calls for a compulsory process…we would be exposing him to possible questions that may lead to his testifying against himself.”

In response, lead prosecutor Niel Tupas said, “the prosecution submits.”


After reading the resolution, however, senator-judge Cayetano said he has reservations only in connection to the decision denying the subpoena versus Corona’s wife, children and in-laws.

“We are not yet there. They have the time to invoke the [doctrines] if they’re already there…We can’t shortcut the process,” he said.

He noted that the marital disqualification doctrine is not absolute. He stressed the issue is also about proving that the wife and the children have become agents in Corona’s alleged transactions.



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