The Sandiganbayan wanted to arraign impeached Chief Justice Renato Corona on his birthday, Oct. 15.
But the court did not know it would undergo Corona through the disgrace of pleading guilty or not guilty for perjury and falsification of his Statement of Assets and Liabilities Net Worth (SALN) on his 67th birthday, a Politiko source said.
The source said the court would try to change Corona’s arraignment to another date.
The antigraft court Special Division of Five voted to dismiss Corona’s judicial determination for probable cause and to hold Corona on trial for perjury and false declaration in his SALN.
Politiko sources said the Third Division formed a Special Division of Five and voted 4-1 to hold Corona on trial.
Those who voted to try Corona are Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang, and Associate Justices Alex Quiroz, Jose Hernandez, and Ma. Theresa Gomez-Estoesta. Associate Justice Samuel Martires, however, dissented.
Corona was charged for eight counts of perjury and eight counts of violations of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees for his alleged undeclared assets.
In its information against Corona, the Ombudsman said from 2002 to 2010, Corona’s cash deposits increased from P1.34 million to P137.9 million.
The Ombudsman said the cumulative discrepancy between his SALN declaration and his actual cash deposits reached P134.4 million in 2010.
The Ombudsman also cited records of the Land Registration Authority (LRA) that said the Corona spouses owned several properties in Quezon City, Makati City and Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City, which were undervalued by P17.3 million.
Corona was impeached by Congress for false declarations of wealth in his SALN.