Hacienda Luisita

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CHIEF Justice Renato Corona enjoyed tax-free allowances and only issued certification on spending them and not receipts.

This was disclosed by Supreme Court cash, collection and disbursement division chief Araceli Bayuga as witness for the defense.

According to Bayuga, the various allowances of Corona was given to him cash and that he only issued certification instead of receipt in spending them.

Bayuga said that this has been the practice of the High Tribunal for the past 40 years, not just for the chief justice but also the associate justices and even the officials and employees of the SC.

“For almost 40 years since I joined the court, all allowances are not included in the taxable income,” she said.

For the past 10 years, Corona has earned P21.6 million, of which only P5.8 million was salaries while the rest allowances, bonuses and other fringe benefits.

Based on the records, Corona received allowances and benefits including longevity pay, PERA (Personal Economic Relief Assistance), representation allowance and transportation allowance (RATA), extraordinary miscellaneous allowance, monthly special allowance, additional cost of living allowance, productivity incentive benefit, clothing allowance, year-end bonus and cash gift loyalty, cash awards, and extraordinary miscellaneous from Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET).

Corona also received emergency economic assistance, anniversary bonus, Christmas cash gifts, additional cash gifts, rice allowance, groceries, among others.

Meanwhile, a member of the prosecution secretariat said that Corona cannot claim the entire P21 million as his income in the last 10 years because portions of it are allowances he should have spent to carry out his functions as a member of the judiciary.

“To say that the P21 million was his income for 10 years is misleading because not all of that money was his,” An Waray party-list Rep. Florencio “Bem” Noel, chairman of the...
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