Senate accepts Corona bank records as evidence
The Senate on Tuesday ruled that it will accept the bank records of Chief Justice Renato Corona with the Philippine Savings Bank submitted by the prosecution as evidence in the magistrate’s impeachment trial.
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile also announced at a press conference following a caucus of senators that the impeachment court had denied the motion of Corona’s defense to suppress the bank accounts as evidence on the grounds that these were illegally acquired.
“As far as the evidence on bank records presented by the prosecution … (these) are accepted,” Enrile said. “So (we) have accepted the formal offer of evidence submitted by the prosecution panel.”
Enrile explained that for the bank records to be excluded, there should be “an unwarranted search and seizure or arrest is done by the state or her agents such as the police and the military.”
But in the case of Corona’s accounts, he said, there was no indication of any such act by the government.
Besides, he added, “the facts indicate that the bank account number exists.”
However, Enrile also stressed that, “We have not yet decided on the opening of bank account but only on the documents at hand, ” referring to the records submitted by the prosecution to the Senate.
The prosecution in Corona’s trial objected to the defense motion, saying there will no determination yet that the bank documents were fake and that these were submitted “in good faith … as they have bearing on the (impeachment) court’s resolution” of the case.
Sought for her reaction to the ruling, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago said “this is the right attitude” by the impeachment court.
“When in doubt, just acccept the evidence,” so long as there is no indication of any serious violation of rights, she said.
She added that the acceptance of the bank records did not necessarily mean a victory for the prosecution because “this does not necessarily mean the case will turn on any particular evidence.”