Dollar accounts ‘not crucial’ in convicting Corona – prosecution

But it's still important for the public to know the truth, they say

MANILA, Philippines – Chief Justice Renato Corona’s dollar accounts are “not crucial” anymore for the prosecution to pin him down in Article 2 of the impeachment complaint, according to lead prosecutor Niel Tupas Jr.

On Thursday, February 9, the Supreme Court granted PSBank’s petition to issue a TRO on the Senate impeachment court’s order for the bank to submit documents of the dollar accounts of Corona.

While the prosecution feels the SC “overstepped its jurisdiction,” Tupas said Corona’s peso accounts are enough to “convict” the Chief Justice. “He has P32 million but P3.5 million lang ang nakalagay sa SALN (Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth),” Tupas told reporters.

In Week 4 of the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona, PSBank president Pascual Garcia III submitted bank records showing that Corona has nearly P20-M balance in 2 accounts as of Dec. 31, 2010.

Bank of Philippine Islands (BPI) Ayala branch manager Leonora Dizon also submitted documents showing that Corona has P12-M in one BPI account as of Dec. 31, 2010.

“We are now very certain that on the basis of Artcile 2 alone, we can get a conviction on betrayal of public trust,” Tupas said.

Nevertheless, Tupas maintained the dollar accounts should be divulged for the sake truth. “Hindi na sya crucial but for the sake of truth, dapat malaman din ng ating taong bayan,” he said.

Yun yung nakikita naming malaki. Malaki na ngayon (peso accounts), mas malaki pa yun (dollar accounts),” said.

The PSBank president confirmed that Corona has 5 dollar accounts in the bank.

Prosecution spokesperson Lorenzo Tañada III said it is important for the Senate impeachment court to stand its ground against the Supreme Court TRO.

“We believe that it is an encroachment of the jurisdiction of the impeachment tribunal. We feel that the issue on foreign currency deposits is within the purview of the court to decide whether to allow it or now,” said Tañada.

Tupas said the prosecution will bow to whatever the Senate will decide on regarding the TRO. –




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