Impeachment court grants request to subpoena bank execs, Corona bank accounts

Presiding judge

Lira Dalangin-Fernandez, InterAksyon.com

The impeachment court trying Chief Justice Renato Corona has granted, “but sets specific limits to the same,” the request of prosecutors to subpoena bank executives and records on accounts of the accused and members of his family.

Emerging from a closed-door caucus on Day 12 of the trial, the court presiding officer, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, said the senator-judges deliberated on the prosecution motion, and majority voted to grant the request under certain restrictions. He directed Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III to read aloud the court resolution on the matter.

Justice Serafin Cuevas served notice the defense will file a motion for reconsideration on the court’s ruling, noting more recent jurisprudence on the matter.

In a decision read by Sotto, it said the majority of senator-judges voted to grant the request of the prosecution and ordered the managers of the Bank of the Philippine Island (Ayala Avenue, Makati branch) and the PSBank (Katipunan, Quezon City branch) “to testify and bring or produce before the court documents on the alleged bank accounts onylf or the sole purpose of the impeachment proceedings” at 2 p.m. on Feb. 8.

“The court would like to emphasize that the non-disclosure of the information relating to the bank accounts of the individual is still the general rule and it has no intention of going against public policy,” Sotto said.

Cautioned

Senator-judges are treading with caution on the matter of bank records, taking a leaf from the impeachment trial of then President Joseph Estrada in January 2001. A bank run followed the testimony of a bank executive and disclosure of records of Estrada in Equitable Bank Corp. Later, Estrada sued Citibank for volunteering to disclose, even without a subpoena, his foreign account deposits with that bank.

The Filipino-Chinese chamber of commerce had warned that a bank run may ensue if the bank secrecy is breached anew in Corona’s case.

Earlier on Monday, prosecution and defense in the Corona trial laid down anew their positions on the granting, or rejection, of the bid to open the bank records of the chief justice and members of his family.

The prosecutors wanted to prove that Corona had not disclosed all his wealth in his Statement of Assets Liabilities and Net worth (SALNs) as required by law.

But defense lawyers filed an urgent motion to oppose issuance of subpoenas, deeming the exercise an “unlawful search” because the prosecutors only stated bank account numbers and names, without specifying the transactions — using these accounts — that were allegedly illegal or anomalous.

February 6, 2012 6:05 pm  Tags:   Posted in: Justice, Supreme Court

19 Responses

  1. joeseg - February 6, 2012 10:17 pm

    Ang pakilasa ko ay nakarating na rin sa mga senators/judges ang isinulat ni Jake Macasaet sa kanyang kolum sa Abante noon pang February 3 tungkol sa $700,000 bank deposit ni CJ Corona. Dolyares yun mga igan! Basahin natin: http://www.abante.com.ph/issue/feb0312/op_am.htm

  2. chi - February 6, 2012 10:31 pm

    Joe, nabasa ko nga ang sinulat na yan ni Sir Jake. Omigawd, in $$$ ha! Anyway, bakit hindi iladlad ang bank account kung walang sinisekreto gaya ni Jose Pidal.

  3. chi - February 6, 2012 10:33 pm

    Dahil sa kahinaan ng prosecution, ayos lang na sundan nila ang leads ng mga dyarista pero ‘wag namang ipatawag bilang witnesses. :)

  4. vic - February 6, 2012 11:38 pm

    not only the current accounts of the CJ will be examined, but the history of his accounts during his tenure in Public service if the money coming in and out were commensurate with His LEGAL income…if not he is fried..cooked and done.

  5. saxnviolins - February 7, 2012 1:39 am

    Napatunayan na, na may yaman na hindi dineklara si Corona. Ito ang tinatawag na corroborative evidence – evidence which corroborates (supports) earlier presented evidence. Kung baga, segunda na lang ito – chuwariwap evidence.

    Parang ikatlong testigo yan na nagsabing nakita ko si abc na sinaksak si xyz. Marami nang yaman si Coronang nalathala na hindi dineklara. Point proven na.

    One must look at the bigger picture. The Chinoys are opposing this, at baka daw magka-bank-run (translation – huhugutin namin lahat ng deposito namin). Since the failure to disclose all wealth has already been proven, or admitted, there is little added value in this, as far as proving the case. The real danger is to the economy, if the fear/warning of the Chinoys comes to pass.

    Policy daw ito, the need to remove Corona or not. Policy issue rin, marahil kung talagang may adverse consequence ang paglathala ng dollar account.

    This is where I would seek the advice of the finance people in the administration. Pare koy, oks ba ito? O may sustansya ang takot/babala ng mga Chinoy? Kailangan ba yan para maipanalo ang kaso?

    Baka pagbaril mo sa kalaban mag-ricochet ang bala sa kakampi (the economy).

    I am not against it. But I would consult Purisima et al. Ask Cuisia, here in DC. He was the CB governor of Cory.

    Look before you leap. We already know the consequence of shooting without aiming; it has earned Niel Tupas his eternal fame as the blindfolded litigator.

  6. Rudolfo - February 7, 2012 2:42 am

    The reason why Corona got all the Brilliant Lawyers ( Old and Young-New faces, e.g..)in the Philippine Justice System,because he was so brilliant enough to kept the “secrets of his assets, In his SALN declaration. His assets were “glued-cemented 10x ” probably,in which he is the only one who knew ( maybe with the wife too, action-pictures spoke a thousand words..)… Corona is one of the good Filipino lawyer citizens, whose life was destroyed and distorted by the last admin, and their cohorts or Companies (A.Reyes,Ligot,Garcia,Santiago,Palparan,Ampatuans,
    Magdalo Soldiers,and name them, e.g..”napakasama ng naging impluwensya ng halos 10-taong nakaraan ?..kailangan talaga ang pagtutuwid ?..). The last admin can be compared to a huge “tsunami” in the political history of the country, needing more than 6-years to 12-years of recovery or rehabilitation. People knew but,the $$$$-power or money works, and the “involves” were weakened and succumb, forgetting the human values, to the point of death without honor.

    We have to wish the Impeachment of Corona, is the turning point of Hope and Change in the country’s governance. Maging mapagmatyag na lang tayo, at subaybayan ang Paglilinis sa SC at iba pang “Sangay ng gobyerno”. At sa bawat pagkakamali nila, boses at panulat ng Tao ang iugma-gamitin, “bago ang lahat”, kapag sila’y mga wala ng pag-asa, o kwenta ki Juan de la Cruz ?..Still, GOD BLESS the Philippines and the patriotic minded Filipinos, and to those who are not ( stubborn, one eye-sided maybe, e.g…), God Bless pa din sa kanila, na sana magising na sila sa katutuhanan, alang alang sa susunod na lahi ng bansa…What we are fighting for is the “FUTURE”!

  7. parasabayan - February 7, 2012 2:47 am

    Naka-score and prosecution kagabi. Kahit na magaling si Cuevas, natechnical siya kagabi sa cross exam ni Com Henares.

    To be able to stablish where Corona got his money, his bank accounts should be looked into. Nadyan na yan eh. Ngayon pa ba uurong? If the bank accounts are not looked into, there will be doubts in people’s minds on where he really got his money. Kaya lang, just like what Rabusa said, ALL CASH ang kalakaran sa corrupt na gobierno. Baka may VAULT lang si Corona sa bahay niya, may peso denomination, dollars at Euro pa! Panay ang travel niya sa ibang bansa. Nag=dedepotito kaya?

  8. parasabayan - February 7, 2012 2:51 am

    Besides, Erap’s situation was different. The bank then volunteered the documents. In Corona’s case the impeachment court has a sub-poena for these.

  9. parasabayan - February 7, 2012 2:51 am

    Magkano kaya yung TRO ni pandak? Just wondering?

  10. parasabayan - February 7, 2012 3:07 am

    At yung PAL decision reversal?

  11. saxnviolins - February 7, 2012 3:24 am

    Fariñas said it was highly possible that prominent lawyers on the defense panel have pending cases in the Supreme Court, thus their presence in his legal team may be construed a certain way.

    Simple lang.

    Corona can inhibit (recuse sa Tate) when the cases where Defense counsels appear are taken up. I’m sure Carpio recuses himself whenever the Firm appears before the Supreme Court; Feliciano did the same, when the Sycip Salazar appeared.

    In the case of American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) 542 U.S. 656 (2004) , Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg did not recuse herself, although she served as General Counsel of the ACLU prior to her appointment.

    Ang daming quieme naman. You say you have the evidence. So let us hear it.

  12. joeseg - February 7, 2012 4:30 am

    Habang patuloy na pinaguusapan itong Corona impeachment trial, isingit muna natin ito: http://youtu.be/-WNcy1FDmXo

  13. humus - February 7, 2012 5:19 am

    Oy nakakatakot, baka mag karoon ng bank run. Mangyayari ba yan? O panibagong kagagohan na naman. Hindi na yata mauubos ang kagagohan sa mundo.

  14. hawaiianguy - February 7, 2012 8:15 am

    Wow, this is good news for those who want to know more what Corona is hiding. Slowly, he may find himself opening the can of worms that he himself stockpiled.

  15. Phil Cruz - February 7, 2012 11:48 am

    Defense counsel Cuevas got quite a beating yesterday.. from witness Kim Henares, prosecutor Arthur Lim and Congressman Farinas.

    That is why he has become a bit jittery, ornery, desperate and thus careless and foolish.

    His snide remarks about the prosecution panel spending more public funds for the additional private lawyers was unnecessary and foolish. It only boomeranged on him. The prosecution lawyers are pro bono. He knows that. He probably thought the prosecution were so inept that he could get away with those remarks.

    He forgot there was a Congressman Farinas sitting quietly in the prosecution panel. The man could not take it sitting down. So the man stood up and gave Cuevas a well-deserved counter punch in the breadbasket. And what a punch it was. It left Cuevas breathless and wordless.

  16. Phil Cruz - February 7, 2012 11:52 am

    Does Tupas and company now trust Farinas to be fully on their side? If so, he should be harnessed more.

    He has the style and wit that cannot easily be taken for granted by both Cuevas and the Senators, including Enrile or Miriam.

  17. humus - February 8, 2012 8:03 am

    From MALAYA’s Ducky Paredes column

    “The prosecution now wants to prove that he has acquired ill-gotten wealth by taking a close look at his bank deposits. To do this, they have asked that the Bank Secrecy Law be waived to allow the prosecution to do its job.
    But what do you know? Even before the Senate could deliberate on the matter, certain quarters have raised fears of bank runs.

    These fears are unfounded. The prosecution wants to subpoena Corona’s bank records to determine whether he has, as they suspect, amassed ill-gotten wealth. How else could he have so much wealth seemingly beyond his lawful income? This is the next logical step after discrepancies were noted in his SALNs.

    I am convinced that the specter of possible bank runs is deliberately being spread by Corona’s camp simply because they do not want his bank deposits to see the light of day.
    These doomsayers, in other words, are spreading the rumors as part of their hidden agenda.

    If he has no huge bank deposits that can only indicate ill-gotten wealth, Corona has nothing to be afraid of. In fact, if it turns out that there is nothing unusual in his bank accounts, doesn’t that practically clear him? The bank run bogey must have been raised only because they do not want the public to know that he may be keeping a huge bank stash out of proportion to his legitimate income as a jurist.”
    Click to see whole article:

    http://www.malaya.com.ph/02082012/edducky.html

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