LP solon linked to PSBank controversy

Quezon City Rep Jorge Banal approached bank manager to inquire about Corona's accounts

MANILA, Philippines – A congressman from the ruling Liberal Party sought the help of a bank manager to verify the accounts of Chief Justice Renato Corona.

This was revealed by Annabelle Tiongson, manager of Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank)-Katipunan branch, when asked by Sen. Loren Legarda on Day 19 of the impeachment trial if she was approached by anyone in relation to Corona’s records.

Tiongson said it was Quezon City 3rd district Rep. Jorge Banal of the Liberal Party who went to the Katipunan branch on January 31 to “ask for help” about a photocopy of a document “similar to Annex A.”

Banal brought with him a photocopy of the alleged Corona bank document, Tiongson said. He then asked her about a dollar marking in the document that he showed her.

Tiongson recalled that Banal asked if the marking was a dollar sign. When she said that she could not help him, Banal left the bank premises, according to Tiongson.

Presiding Officer and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile asked if Banal approached Tiongson before or after the branch records were requested by PSBank president Pascual Garcia III to be transferred to the main office.Tiongson said Banal’s visit was made before Garcia’s request.

Tiongson recalled that Banal introduced himself as part of the “secretariat,” without elaborating.

Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago asked how Tiongson knew Banal.

The bank manager said she first met him during the inauguration of a covered court in Xavierville I, Quezon City, when Banal was still a Quezon City councilor.

SUBPOENAED. The Senate Impeachment Court issues a subpoena for Quezon City 3rd District Rep Jorge Banal on Thursday, February 16. (File photo from boletbanal.com)

As a result of Tiongson’s revelations, the impeachment court has subpoenaed Banal.

Banal was unavailable for comment, although he is, as of posting, at the prosecution’s office in the Senate.

The impeachment court is investigating how Corona’s bank records reached the prosecution, which earlier sought for a subpoena of PSBank officials and records.

PSBank officials have insisted that the bank document attached by the prosecution in the subpoena are fake. But they were required to present the original copies of Corona’s bank document.

Garcia and Tiongson testified on Thursday, February 16, on Corona’s 6 other time deposits in the bank. – Rappler.com

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