Ombudsman wants bank execs to testify on Corona’s dollar account
Ombudsman wants bank execs to testify on Corona’s dollar account
The Ombudsman asks the Sandiganbayan to summon bank officials to verify documents as it conducts an investigation on former Chief Justice Renato Corona

MANILA, Philippines – The Office of the Ombudsman asked the Sandiganbayan on Wednesday, January 27, to summon two officials of Deutsche Bank AG to verify foreign bank records of former Chief Justice Renato Corona, in relation to the ill-gotten wealth case against him.

In its request for issuance of a subpoena, the Prosecution Bureau asked the graft court to require Deutsche Bank AG chief country officer Enrico Cruz and Direct Securities Services head Celia Orbeta to appear before the Office of the Special Prosecutor on February 11 at 9 am.

Cruz and Orbeto would be asked to verify the authenticity of Corona’s bank documents that were submitted to the Ombudsman and the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

These documents include the letter from Deutsche Bank dated June 6, 2012 in response to the BIR’s request for bank records under the names of Corona and his wife Cristina, a bank certification showing the year-end balances of Corona’s dollar account from 2002 to 2011, and a statement of transactions.

Based on the bank certification, Corona’s account contained no amount from 2002 to 2008. However, its balance spiked to $167,000 in 2009 and 2010 but went back to zero in 2011, months before the impeachment trial began.

The Ombudsman, in its March 2014 complaint, alleged that out of the total P160.96 million assets of Corona, only P30.37 million could be deemed “legitimate” based on the couple’s Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALNs).

The Sandiganbayan earlier ordered temporary seizure of Corona’s assets but as of January 5, only P10,354.98 in deposits have been found by court sheriffs.

Corona was dismissed as chief magistrate of the Supreme Court in 2012 for failing to disclose his wealth. He is also facing several counts of tax evasion before the Court of Tax Appeals as well as perjury and violation of ethical standards before the Sandiganbayan. –

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