Prosecutors: Corona could have refused ‘special discount’

CHIEF Justice Renato Corona could have at least refused the price reduction amounting to P1 million given to him by Megaworld Corporation if he was “very conscious” of the post he occupies in the judiciary, prosecutors said.
The prosecution panel’s own witness denied Tuesday that Corona was given a 40-percent discount when he purchased the P14.5-million Bellagio penthouse unit in 2010.
Lawyer Joseph Joemer Perez earlier said the prosecution team was informed of the discount, prompting spokespersons to say that the Chief Justice may have violated the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and the Code of Judicial Conduct for receiving a price cut worth P10 million.
Noli Hernandez, senior vice president for Megaworld Corporation’s marketing department, explained that Corona was not given a discount but instead a “reduction” because the penthouse unit was semi-bare and rain-damaged.
“It made more economic sense to sell it as it was so it merited a reduction in price…Apart from this damage, basically, we just computed how much it would cost us if we will do redo everything, factored that in and decided to sell it in reduced price,” he told the impeachment court.
Hernandez said, however, that Corona was given an additional “five-percent discount” amounting to P1 million. “It was the only special discount we gave,” he said.
Hernandez said the original price of the penthouse unit is P24 million. The Chief Justice and his wife, Cristina, bought the said unit for P14.5 million.
Prosecution panel spokesperson Lorenzo “Erin” Tañada III said Corona has “the right to say no to a discount because people might question you for it.”
The Megaworld official, meanwhile, denied that the P10-million reduction in price was offered in relation to the two compensation cases the company lost in the Supreme Court (SC) in 2007 and 2009.
In a separate statement, Megaworld maintained that in all its business dealings with Corona, the company has neither solicited nor obtained any favor either from the Chief Justice or from the Court.
“The records of decided cases involving our company are open to scrutiny since the same form part of public documents. In all these cases, we have followed all judicial processes, availed of all legal remedies and abided by all the final decisions of the Court,” said Megaworld, a listed property developer controlled by Andrew Tan, one of the Philippines’ richest persons.
Hernandez said at the time the negotiations for the purchased unit were taking place, he did not know that it was Corona who was interested in the Bellagio property, which is facing the Manila Golf Course.
Speaking for the defense, lawyer Ramon Esguerra said the prosecution insinuated that the hefty discount given by Megaworld to Corona for his purchased unit was a “favor”.
In Megaworld Properties and Holdings Inc. v. Cobarde (G.R. No. 156200) penned by then Associate Justice Corona and was promulgated on March 31, 2004, the Supreme Court (SC) absolved Megaworld from the responsibility of paying broker’s fees in a compromise agreement.
Instead, the SC ordered Megaworld to be paid P5.8 million by the opposing parties.
“Connecting the decision to the alleged 40-percent discount amounting to P10 million requires some manipulative thinking,” Esguerra said.
Senator-judges Pia Cayetano and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said they did not see the connection of Hernandez’s testimony with Article II of the impeachment complaint, which refers to the Chief Justice’s non-disclosure of statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).
Cavite Representative Elpidio Barzaga explained that the prosecution wants to find out if Corona had enough cash to pay for the renovations in his unit.
Barzaga said Corona’s SALN should have reflected this as Senator Franklin Drilon stressed that the Chief Justice should have filed an “accurate and truthful SALN”.
Before the adjournment of Tuesday’s trial, Senator Aquilino “Kiko” Pimentel III told the prosecution panel not to force the discount issue on Article III, which cast doubt on Corona’s “integrity, probity, and independence” after flip-flopping in final and executory cases.
“We’ve seen today (Tuesday) that senators were not convinced in the relevance of the discount issue on Article II so as a friendly advice, don’t bring up the same issue in Article III anymore,” he said. (Kathrina Alvarez/Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)

Best Restaurant in Clark Pampanga unveils regional dinner menu featuring the classic cuisine of Italy, all designed to pair nicely with fine vintage wines from Italy’s wine regions such as Tuscany, Piedmont, Veneto and Sicily, one more reasons for food and wine lovers to travel to Angeles City, Clark Philippines to satisfy their thirst for a wonderful meal at a fine dining restaurant, the best place to eat in Pampanga.

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The new regional set menus rolled out recently by the best restaurant in Clark Pampanga stirred up renewed interest among visitors from Manila for real fine dining treat in Clark Pampanga as wine lovers from Subic, Tarlac, Manila, Angeles City, Clark Pampanga Philippines wine and dine at Yats Restaurant to enjoy good food paired with fine vintage wines from the wine cellars of this highly recommended resto bar in Pampanga

Are you looking for an attractive restaurant or a nice place to eat with friends in Clark, Angeles City Pampanga? Yats Restaurant and Wine Bar is a restaurant with good food and good wines for dinner located at Clark Angeles City Pampanga. Perfect for exclusive dinner venues for groups, recommended for private dinner in Philippines. A Restaurant in Clark for business dinner meeting. Private dinner place or dinner restaurant in Clark Subic Near Manila Angeles City Pampanga. Yats Restaurant is one of the Good Restaurant in Pampanga Angeles City Clark near Manila. Yats Restaurant is one of the good restaurants in Pampanga, a restaurant with good food, a place that is nice for celebration, ideal for business dinner meeting, a good place to enjoy family reunion, and an attractive restaurant that serves good wines for dinner.

Visitors come from Manila, Angeles City, Pampanga, Subic and Clark Philippines to enjoy a sumptuous seafood dinner at Yats Restaurant. Many guests order excellent white wine from the award-winning restaurant wine list of this famous fine dining restaurant in Clark. Favorite wine orders for guests in this restaurant include Chablis, Chassagne-Montrachet, Sancerre, Chardonnay of Chile’s Casa Lapastolle, Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand and South Africa, Rose from Anjou, Pinot Noir from USA and Burgundy France and the all-time favorite, Meursault. A wide range of sparkling wine and Champagne is available also in this restaurant in Pampanga which is famous for its selection of vintage wines. Popular choices of guests in this restaurant include Paul Bara Champagne, Crement de Bourgogne, MUMM Cuvee Napa Sparkling wine, Prosecco and Cava.

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Getting to this fine dining restaurant of Angeles City Clark Freeport Zone Pampanga Philippines
How to get to this fine-dining restaurant in Clark Pampanga? Once you get to Clark Freeport, go straight until you hit Mimosa. After you enter Mimosa, stay on the left on Mimosa Drive, go past the Holiday Inn and Yats Restaurant (green top, independent 1-storey structure) is on your left. Just past the Yats Restaurant is the London Pub.

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Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga, Philippines 2023

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