ERWIN TULFO:  THE TRUTH WILL COME OUT VERY, VERY SOON

Television and radio broadcaster Erwin Tulfo addressed allegations implicating him in the alleged pork barrel scam during the 5th Golden Screen TV Awards on Friday, March 21. This is following a report that came out earlier this week in the Philippine Daily Inquirer claiming Tulfo received "payoffs" from the the state-owned National Agribusiness Corporation (Nabcor) in 2009, when he was a radio broadaster for RMN-dxZL. In a previous interview, Tulfo's lawyer Nelson Borja denied the money from Nabcor was a "payoff." "Hindi naman payoff ang tawag do'n e, binayaran siya, advertising expenses, doon sa radio station," Borja said."Legal ang transaksyon." Receiving the Helen Vera Lifetime Achievement Award for News Broadcast with his brothers Raffy and Ben Tulfo, Erwin said: "Pangako ko ho sa mga sumusuporta sa akin--sa aking pamilya, sa aking mga kaibigan, sa mga media, sa TV5--pangako ko po na hindi ko sisirain ang inyong tiwala." The TV5 news anchor added, "Asahan n'yo po na the truth will come out very, very soon." "At sa mga kritiko ko po, hindi ito magiging hadlang para ituloy-ituloy ho ang serbisyo publiko naming magkakapatid," he further said. Talking to members of the press on the sidelines of the Golden Screen TV Awards at Teatrino, Greenhills in San Juan City, Erwin reiterated that the alleged payoff was payment for advertising or commercial slots. He explained that radio anchors are given three-minute advertising slots by their stations--a practice that the Kapisinan ng mga Broadkaster ng Pilipinas knows about. Erwin said his camp is planning to file a libel case against the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

ALSO: Tulfo lawyer: Money from Nabcor not a 'payoff'

The camp of hard-hitting broadcast journalist Erwin Tulfo admitted receiving money from the National Agribusiness Corporation (Nabcor), but insisted that it was not a "payoff." "Hindi naman payoff ang tawag do'n e, binayaran siya, advertising expenses, doon sa radio station," Tulfo's lawyer Nelson Borja said in an interview with ABS-CBN News aired Wednesday night. "Legal ang transaksyon," Borja added. Reports based on the sworn statements of former Nabcor officials Victor Cacal and Rhodora Mendoza said that Tulfo and Carmelo del Prado Magdurulang popularly known as Melo del Prado accepted P245,535 in bribes from then Department of Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap in 2009. The Nabcor officials' sworn statements were submitted to the Department of Justice (DOJ) as part of their application to become state witnesses in the government's case against several lawmakers and businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles in connection with the multi-billion pesos pork barrel scam. The two former Nabcor officials are also respondents in the plunder and malversation charges filed by the DOJ before the Office of the Ombudsman. Borja said that the news article on the supposed bribe are unacceptable and that his client is planning to file charges. "That is malicious, that is libelous, and that is damaging, especially sa status in Erwin Tulfo," Borja said.

ALSO: GMA given more time to celebrate birthday with family at VMMC

APRIL 3 -The Sandiganbayan has granted former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s request to allow her family to spend more time with her at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) this weekend to celebrate her 67th birthday. “She is very happy and excited to be with the members of the family on her birthday,” defense lawyer Modesto Ticman Jr. told The STAR after personally delivering the good news to the former president. “She’s looking forward to it. She’s super excited that at least for three days, they will be together,” he added, noting that the celebration will involve a lot of eating, chatting and bonding. Prosecutors of the Office of the Ombudsman, during yesterday’s hearing on the motion, posed no objection to the plea of Arroyo, who is on trial for plunder for alleged involvement in the misuse of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) funds. April 6, 2014 - 12:00am - Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo celebrated her 67th birthday yesterday with family and friends who visited her at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC). Arroyo started her day with a mass inside her hospital room attended by members of her family, including her husband Jose Miguel Arroyo and their grandchildren. Many of her friends, relatives and other well-wishers, who started arriving at 9 a.m., brought food. Lawyer Raul Lambino, Arroyo’s chief of staff, said her sister Cielo Macapagal-Salgado, brother Art Macapagal, some childhood friends and high school classmates also came. Former lawmakers Prospero Pichay and Danilo Suarez; former Cabinet secretaries Arthur Yap, Gary Olivar, Esperanza Cabral, Patricia Sto. Tomas, Rigoberto Tiglao and Ricardo Saludo; and Arroyo’s lawyers also arrived. Some of her supporters from Pampanga also came and wished her good health and an end to her legal woes. The Sandiganbayan allowed the Pampanga lawmaker to spend three days with family and friends to celebrate her birthday. On Friday, Arroyo’s family stayed with her at the hospital’s presidential suite. The Sandiganbayan granted the lawmaker’s request to allow her family to stay at the VMMC from 9 a.m. of Friday to 9:30 p.m. today.

ALSO: GMA celebrates 67th birthday with kin, allies

Former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is celebrating her 67th birthday today under detention at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center, with a rare, large gathering of well-wishers consisting of high school friends, relatives and political allies. Ferdinand Topacio, one of the lawyers of the Arroyos, said at least 50 visitors were allowed by the Philippine National Police (PNP) to join in the birthday celebration and they were divided into three batches so as not to crowd Arroyo’s hospital room. He said the guests include the lawmaker’s childhood friends, high school classmates at the Assumption College, former Cabinet members, some colleagues in the House of Representatives and relatives. Additional tables and plastic chairs were set up inside the hospital room and just outside it. The first batch will be allowed to enter the premises at 9 a.m. to join Arroyo for breakfast, and the second batch will come in for lunch. Dinner is reserved for the family, including her grandchildren, Topacio said. Food will be catered but guests are expected to contribute food and drinks. All visitors would be under strict security checks by the PNP personnel stationed outside the hospital room, he added. Meanwhile, Antonio Abad, former dean of the Far Eastern University’s Institute of Law, told a news forum yesterday that there is no legal basis to detain Arroyo, saying the plunder complaint against her is weak. Abad said there was no evidence presented to the Sandiganbayan that Arroyo amassed or pocketed money. Arroyo is facing plunder charges for her alleged involvement in the misuse of funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) during her incumbency.

 
NTG: Gloria Arroyo, walang ganang kumain dahil sa pagkitid ng esophagus
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=zZN7kvDBSXI

ALSO: Corona posts bail for perjury

Ousted chief justice Renato Corona posted bail of P160,000 yesterday for the criminal cases of perjury and violation of Republic Act 6713, the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials, that he is facing before the Sandiganbayan. His arraignment and pre-trial or preliminary conference are yet to be set. Corona, accompanied by his wife Cristina, had his fingerprints taken, and he submitted 2x2 photographs facing front, left and right. He signed at the back of the photographs. He also signed a personal data sheet (PDS) and a waiver of appearance signifying that he will not appear in court during trial as his lawyers will represent him. Arriving at around 4:15 p.m., Corona and Cristina did not speak to media as they quickly left after going through bail procedures. Two Sandiganbayan divisions are handling the criminal and civil cases against the Corona couple. The civil case for forfeiture of unexplained wealth amounting to P130.3 million went to the anti-graft court’s Second Division. The perjury and violation of RA 6713 cases went to the Third Division. Corona and his wife are facing forfeiture charges for alleged unexplained assets accumulated from 2001 to 2011, which were not declared in their statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALNs). In the perjury and violation of RA 6713, Corona is accused of lying under oath for not declaring his and his wife’s wealth.

ALSO: Corona seeks dismissal of criminal cases

Ousted chief justice Renato Corona has asked the Sandiganbayan to dismiss the criminal cases of perjury and violation of Republic Act 6713, or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, filed against him by the Office of the Ombudsman. Lawyer Dennis Pulma, clerk of Sandiganbayan’s third division, said Corona filed a motion for judicial determination of probable cause after posting P160,000 bail on Wednesday. Pulma said the anti-graft court would hear the petition on April 11. Corona challenged the ombudsman’s findings during a preliminary investigation, which led to the filing of criminal cases against him. Pulma said the pleading would have to be resolved first before an arraignment and pre-trial conference could be scheduled. Corona is facing perjury for alleged false declaration of wealth in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth from 2001 to 2011. He and his wife Cristina are also facing a civil case for forfeiture before the Sandiganbayan for allegedly acquiring unexplained wealth amounting to P130.3 million.


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Erwin Tulfo: 'The truth will come out very, very soon'


Erwin Tulfo and Ben Tulfo receive the Helen Vera Lifetime Achievement Award for News Broadcast from the 5th Golden Screen TV Awards on Friday, March 21.

MANILA, APRIL 7, 2014 (PHILSTAR) By Chuck Smith - Television and radio broadcaster Erwin Tulfo addressed allegations implicating him in the alleged pork barrel scam during the 5th Golden Screen TV Awards on Friday, March 21.

This is following a report that came out earlier this week in the Philippine Daily Inquirer claiming Tulfo received "payoffs" from the the state-owned National Agribusiness Corporation (Nabcor) in 2009, when he was a radio broadaster for RMN-dxZL.

In a previous interview, Tulfo's lawyer Nelson Borja denied the money from Nabcor was a "payoff."

"Hindi naman payoff ang tawag do'n e, binayaran siya, advertising expenses, doon sa radio station," Borja said."Legal ang transaksyon."

Receiving the Helen Vera Lifetime Achievement Award for News Broadcast with his brothers Raffy and Ben Tulfo, Erwin said: "Pangako ko ho sa mga sumusuporta sa akin--sa aking pamilya, sa aking mga kaibigan, sa mga media, sa TV5--pangako ko po na hindi ko sisirain ang inyong tiwala."

The TV5 news anchor added, "Asahan n'yo po na the truth will come out very, very soon."

"At sa mga kritiko ko po, hindi ito magiging hadlang para ituloy-ituloy ho ang serbisyo publiko naming magkakapatid," he further said.

Talking to members of the press on the sidelines of the Golden Screen TV Awards at Teatrino, Greenhills in San Juan City, Erwin reiterated that the alleged payoff was payment for advertising or commercial slots. He explained that radio anchors are given three-minute advertising slots by their stations--a practice that the Kapisinan ng mga Broadkaster ng Pilipinas knows about.

Erwin said his camp is planning to file a libel case against the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

"Nagusap na po kami ng aking lawyer, and they are preparing now for a libel. Masakit man tanggapin, magkakasama tayo sa media--nasa print sila, nasa broadcast ako--pero kailangan mo ituwid ang isang bagay" he said. "Walang pinagkaiba yan sa isang pamilya. Kapag may pagkakamali ang isang kapatid, kailangan pagsabihan mo."

Erwin added, "In this case, kinausap na naman namin, sinabi na namin na kailangan namin ng apologies pero ayaw naman. So we will resort to something."

"And I think, if this is the only way to clear my name, to go to the courts, we will do that kasi we have evidence, we have back-up evidence. Andyan yung tape on air na commercial mismo," he further explained.

"Iprepresenta rin namin yung contract, may contract kami sa Department sa Agriculture at saka yung witholding tax. May tax yung bayad. Wala naman sigurong suhol na may tax. Lahat naman ng suhol, walang buwis. Ito, meron."

Tulfo is one of the three broadcast journalists implicated in the alleged P10-B pork barrel scam. The Inquirer report claimed Tulfo and radio broadcaster Melo del Prado, a news anchor for the GMA-owned radio station dzBB, received P245, 535 in bribes in 2009 from then Department of Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap.

The report added another "prominent TV and radio personality" got a P2 million pay off from Nabcor.

Both TV5 and GMA said in their separate official statements that they will investigate the allegations.

"In accordance with standard procedure, we will conduct a thorough investigation of any allegations of violations. Due process will be observed and we will ensure that full sanctions will be applied if determined to be necessary," GMA-7 said in a statement.

"TV5 stands by the statement of Mr. Tulfo, but will conduct its own internal inquiry into the matter," the Kapatid network said in its statement.

Tulfo lawyer: Money from Nabcor not a 'payoff' (philstar.com) | Updated March 20, 2014 - 10:54am 5 1600 googleplus0 0


Erwin Tulfo in his morning radio news program over Radyo Singko. screencap

MANILA, Philippines — The camp of hard-hitting broadcast journalist Erwin Tulfo admitted receiving money from the National Agribusiness Corporation (Nabcor), but insisted that it was not a "payoff."

"Hindi naman payoff ang tawag do'n e, binayaran siya, advertising expenses, doon sa radio station," Tulfo's lawyer Nelson Borja said in an interview with ABS-CBN News aired Wednesday night.

"Legal ang transaksyon," Borja added.

Reports based on the sworn statements of former Nabcor officials Victor Cacal and Rhodora Mendoza said that Tulfo and Carmelo del Prado Magdurulang popularly known as Melo del Prado accepted P245,535 in bribes from then Department of Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap in 2009.

The Nabcor officials' sworn statements were submitted to the Department of Justice (DOJ) as part of their application to become state witnesses in the government's case against several lawmakers and businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles in connection with the multi-billion pesos pork barrel scam.

The two former Nabcor officials are also respondents in the plunder and malversation charges filed by the DOJ before the Office of the Ombudsman.

Borja said that the news article on the supposed bribe are unacceptable and that his client is planning to file charges.

"That is malicious, that is libelous, and that is damaging, especially sa status in Erwin Tulfo," Borja said.

Mendoza and Cacal reportedly detailed Nabcor's participation in the pork barrel fund scam.

Tulfo is a hard-hitting broadcast journalist of TV5, which has said that it will "stand by" the media personality.

Tulfo also denied allegations of bribery in his Radyo Singko program and on his column with the Manila Times. - Camille Diola

FROM THE INQUIRER BRIEFLY NOTED

MANILA, Philippines– Former Senator Edgardo Angara and two media men who have been dragged into the “pork barrel” controversy may be invited to face a Senate probe to answer the issues being raised against them, Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero told reporters on Wednesday.

Angara was among the four senators, along with 79 representatives, who had reportedly funneled P1.7 billion “pork barrel” funds to questionable nongovernment organizations through the state-owned National Agribusiness Corp. (Nabcor).

At least two media personalities, Erwin Tulfo and Carmelo del Prado Magdurulang, were also reported to have benefitted from the funds coursed through Nabcor.

GMA given more time to celebrate birthday with family at VMMC By Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) | Updated April 3, 2014 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines - The Sandiganbayan has granted former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s request to allow her family to spend more time with her at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) this weekend to celebrate her 67th birthday.

“She is very happy and excited to be with the members of the family on her birthday,” defense lawyer Modesto Ticman Jr. told The STAR after personally delivering the good news to the former president.

“She’s looking forward to it. She’s super excited that at least for three days, they will be together,” he added, noting that the celebration will involve a lot of eating, chatting and bonding.

Prosecutors of the Office of the Ombudsman, during yesterday’s hearing on the motion, posed no objection to the plea of Arroyo, who is on trial for plunder for alleged involvement in the misuse of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) funds.

The anti-graft court granted Arroyo’s request to allow her loved ones to stay at the VMMC from 9 a.m. on April 4 to 9:30 p.m. of April 6, since April 5 is her birthday.

Malacañang wishes Arroyo well on the occasion of her 67th birthday on Saturday.

“We want to greet her a happy birthday, and we hope that she will be happy celebrating it, along with her loved ones,” Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. of the Presidential Communications Operations Office told a news briefing yesterday.

Ticman said the Sandiganbayan First Division approved the former president’s motion on humanitarian grounds.

Considering that prosecutors submitted the matter of deciding on the request to the sound discretion of the court, the request was granted.

Ticman said that in accordance with the amended protocol on security, immediate family members who will be allowed to stay and sleep over at the VMMC include only immediate relatives.

“This includes husband or spouse, children, grandchildren, uncle and aunt, fiancé, and siblings,” he said, citing the rules set by the Police Security and Protection Group (PSPG).

Arroyo, who remains on hospital arrest, had earlier tried to ask for a three-day birthday furlough that would have allowed her to spend her birthday in her hometown in Lubao, Pampanga.

However, the Sandiganbayan, with prosecutors objecting to the request, denied the motion and Ticman opted not to question it anymore.

Arroyo is still trying to convince the anti-graft court to grant her bail, anchored on the legal argument that she is not a flight risk and that detention during trial is not meant to punish but only ensure that an accused will not flee.

The Sandiganbayan had already denied her petition for bail based on a separate legal argument that the former president’s health is deteriorating and her continued stay in hospital is not helping her any.

Meanwhile, a ranking PCSO official took the witness stand on the plunder case hearing yesterday, admitting that he has no personal knowledge on the approval and disbursement of the P366-million confidential and intelligence funds (CIF) allegedly misused from 2008 to 2010.

PCSO corporate secretary Ramon Rodrigo told the Sandiganbayan that as far as requests, approvals and disbursements of CIFs made and carried out by PCSO between 2008 and first quarter of 2010, he had no personal knowledge because he was not yet with the agency at the time.

He admitted, however, that up to now, the current PCSO board and officials still allot and make use of CIF in carrying out some of their functions, though he was evasive when asked who among them are given the CIF, saying he is in no position to answer.

Rodrigo also said that based on PCSO records, the old board approved the disbursements of CIF in 2009 as presented copies of the minutes of the board meetings conducted in relation to the fund. – With Delon Porcalla

GMA turns 67 with kin, allies By Reinir Padua and Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) | Updated April 6, 2014 - 12:00am 7 272 googleplus0 0


PHOTO FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK: On the eve of her 67th birthday, former President and incumbent Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo bids farewell to a guest at her suite inside the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City on Friday. The Sandiganbayan first division allowed Arroyo to spend her birthday with members of her immediate family and guests inside the VMMC, where she has been under hospital arrest since 2011. Asti Flores

MANILA, Philippines - Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo celebrated her 67th birthday yesterday with family and friends who visited her at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC).

Arroyo started her day with a mass inside her hospital room attended by members of her family, including her husband Jose Miguel Arroyo and their grandchildren.

Many of her friends, relatives and other well-wishers, who started arriving at 9 a.m., brought food.

Lawyer Raul Lambino, Arroyo’s chief of staff, said her sister Cielo Macapagal-Salgado, brother Art Macapagal, some childhood friends and high school classmates also came.

Former lawmakers Prospero Pichay and Danilo Suarez; former Cabinet secretaries Arthur Yap, Gary Olivar, Esperanza Cabral, Patricia Sto. Tomas, Rigoberto Tiglao and Ricardo Saludo; and Arroyo’s lawyers also arrived.

Some of her supporters from Pampanga also came and wished her good health and an end to her legal woes.

The Sandiganbayan allowed the Pampanga lawmaker to spend three days with family and friends to celebrate her birthday.

On Friday, Arroyo’s family stayed with her at the hospital’s presidential suite.

The Sandiganbayan granted the lawmaker’s request to allow her family to stay at the VMMC from 9 a.m. of Friday to 9:30 p.m. today.

Arroyo’s lawyer Modesto Ticman Jr. said the Pampanga lawmaker was “very happy and excited” to be with her family and friends.

Birthday wish

A close female friend of Arroyo said the former president wanted “a better life for the people and a more peaceful nation” when asked what she wished for on her birthday.

“She thanked God for her family and blessings,” Lambino said.

He said Arroyo also thanked the Sandiganbayan for allowing her family to stay for three days, and the Philippine National Police (PNP) for allowing her to receive many guests.

Only around 50 people were initially allowed by the PNP to enter the hospital room based on a pre-screened list, but more were allowed to briefly stay in the foyer.

With the exception of Arroyo’s family, visitors were not allowed to stay beyond 7 p.m.

No legal basis

Meanwhile, Antonio Abad, former dean of the Far Eastern University’s Institute of Law, told a news forum yesterday that there is no legal basis to detain Arroyo, saying the plunder complaint against her is weak.

Abad said there was no evidence presented to the Sandiganbayan that Arroyo amassed or pocketed money.

Arroyo is facing plunder charges for her alleged involvement in the misuse of funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) during her incumbency.

 
GMANETWORK 24Oras: CGMA, kita sa litrato na namayat

GMA celebrates 67th birthday with kin, allies By Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) | Updated April 5, 2014 - 12:00am 5 113 googleplus0 0


GOOD FOR HEALTH. Lawyer cites doctors’ endorsement that allowing former President Gloria Arroyo’s family to stay with her at the hospital will help improve her condition. Rappler file photo

MANILA, Philippines - Former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is celebrating her 67th birthday today under detention at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center, with a rare, large gathering of well-wishers consisting of high school friends, relatives and political allies.

Ferdinand Topacio, one of the lawyers of the Arroyos, said at least 50 visitors were allowed by the Philippine National Police (PNP) to join in the birthday celebration and they were divided into three batches so as not to crowd Arroyo’s hospital room.

He said the guests include the lawmaker’s childhood friends, high school classmates at the Assumption College, former Cabinet members, some colleagues in the House of Representatives and relatives.

Additional tables and plastic chairs were set up inside the hospital room and just outside it.

The first batch will be allowed to enter the premises at 9 a.m. to join Arroyo for breakfast, and the second batch will come in for lunch. Dinner is reserved for the family, including her grandchildren, Topacio said.

Food will be catered but guests are expected to contribute food and drinks. All visitors would be under strict security checks by the PNP personnel stationed outside the hospital room, he added.

Arroyo is facing plunder charges in connection with the alleged misuse of P366-million Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office intelligence funds during her incumbency.

Corona posts bail for perjury By Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) | Updated April 3, 2014 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines - Ousted chief justice Renato Corona posted bail of P160,000 yesterday for the criminal cases of perjury and violation of Republic Act 6713, the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials, that he is facing before the Sandiganbayan.

His arraignment and pre-trial or preliminary conference are yet to be set.

Corona, accompanied by his wife Cristina, had his fingerprints taken, and he submitted 2x2 photographs facing front, left and right. He signed at the back of the photographs.

He also signed a personal data sheet (PDS) and a waiver of appearance signifying that he will not appear in court during trial as his lawyers will represent him.

Arriving at around 4:15 p.m., Corona and Cristina did not speak to media as they quickly left after going through bail procedures.

Two Sandiganbayan divisions are handling the criminal and civil cases against the Corona couple.

The civil case for forfeiture of unexplained wealth amounting to P130.3 million went to the anti-graft court’s Second Division.

The perjury and violation of RA 6713 cases went to the Third Division.

Associate Justice Teresita Diaz-Baldos chairs the Second Division with Associate Justices Napoleon Inoturan and Oscar Herrera Jr. as members.

Sandiganbayan presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tan chairs the Third Division with Associate Justice Samuel Martires and Alex Quiroz as members.

Corona and his wife are facing forfeiture charges for alleged unexplained assets accumulated from 2001 to 2011, which were not declared in their statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALNs).

In the perjury and violation of RA 6713, Corona is accused of lying under oath for not declaring his and his wife’s wealth.

Last week, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales ordered the filing of criminal and civil charges against the Coronas after denying their motions for reconsideration for a reversal of the findings of graft investigators.

Corona arraignment deferred

Corona’s arraignment on seven of 12 counts of tax evasion cases was deferred yesterday.

The Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) second division granted Corona’s motion to suspend his arraignment in view of his petition for review before the Department of Justice (DOJ).

His arraignment was reset to June 4.

Appearing in court with his wife, Corona refused to answer questions from reporters as he left the court following the hearing.

During the hearing, the CTA second division denied Corona’s motion to reconsider its March 19 resolution finding probable cause to proceed with the case against him.

Corona had filed a motion for judicial determination of probable cause on all 12 counts of tax evasion raffled to three CTA divisions.

The first and third divisions handling the cases gave prosecutors time to comment on the matter. The second division merely noted the motion “as the Court is obligated to determine probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest.”

In a ruling dated March 19, the CTA second division found probable cause to issue arrest warrants against Corona following an evaluation of the information and documents that prosecutors have submitted.

No arrest warrant was issued against Corona as they posted a bail of P10,000 for each of the 12 counts of tax evasion a day after the DOJ filed the case before the CTA on March 3. – With Janvic Mateo

Corona seeks dismissal of criminal cases By Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) | Updated April 4, 2014 - 12:00am 0 1 googleplus1 1

MANILA, Philippines - Ousted chief justice Renato Corona has asked the Sandiganbayan to dismiss the criminal cases of perjury and violation of Republic Act 6713, or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, filed against him by the Office of the Ombudsman.

Lawyer Dennis Pulma, clerk of Sandiganbayan’s third division, said Corona filed a motion for judicial determination of probable cause after posting P160,000 bail on Wednesday.

Pulma said the anti-graft court would hear the petition on April 11.

Corona challenged the ombudsman’s findings during a preliminary investigation, which led to the filing of criminal cases against him.

Pulma said the pleading would have to be resolved first before an arraignment and pre-trial conference could be scheduled.

Corona is facing perjury for alleged false declaration of wealth in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth from 2001 to 2011.

He and his wife Cristina are also facing a civil case for forfeiture before the Sandiganbayan for allegedly acquiring unexplained wealth amounting to P130.3 million.

Last week, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales ordered the filing of criminal and civil charges against the Coronas after denying their motions for reconsideration for a reversal of the findings of graft investigators.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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