PSBank source of leak on accounts – Corona

Chief Justice Renato Corona grants 3 interviews Wednesday, breaks silence on bank accounts

MEDIA BLITZ. Chief Justice Renato Corona breaks his silence through a series of TV interviews Wednesday. TV screen grab of GMA-7's Unang Hirit

MANILA, Philippines – He lost his trust in Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank), so Chief Justice Renato Corona decided to close his accounts with them, Corona said in a TV interview Wednesday, March 7.

He also blamed PSBank for the information leak about his bank accounts that eventually reached the prosecution.

Nawalan kami ng tiwala doon sa bangko eh, kasi alam namin doon nanggaling ang leak,” Corona said in an interview with GMA-7. (We lost trust in the bank because we knew the leak was coming from them.)

Corona said that even before the House of Representatives impeached him, he already heard that the PSBank Katipunan branch manager, whom he refused to name, was leaking information about his bank records.

The branch manager is Annabelle Tiongson, who testified before the impeachment court in February and who admitted that Rep Jorge Banal, a member of the prosecution secretariat, approached her in January and showed her his photocopy of Corona’s bank accounts.

Corona said information about the leak came from relatives and friends who also have accounts in PSBank Katipunan. “Sabi namin, ‘Bakit ‘yung branch manager ang nagkukuwento?’” (We said, ‘Why was the branch manager talking about it?’)

LEAK SOURCE? PSBank’s Annabelle Tiongson (right) consults with her lawyer earlier during Chief Justice Renato Corona’s impeachment trial. File photo by Ey Acasio/Manila Standard/Senate pool

At that point, hindi pa namin alam kung sino exactly yung pinanggagalingan. Pero facing a situation like that, ikaw ba magtitiwala ka sa bangkong ganon? Hindi mo ba wiwithdraw-hin ang pera mo kung ikaw ang nasa lugar namin?” Corona said in an interview with GMA-7 anchor Arnold Clavio.

(At that point, we still didn’t know who exactly was the source of the leaks. But facing a situation like that, will you still trust such a bank? Wouldn’t you withdraw your money if you were in our place?)

Corona made this statement a day after the impeachment court decided to accept as evidence Corona’s bank records presented by PSBank despite a defense motion for the court to do otherwise. 

Last month, PSBank branch manager Annabelle Tiongson testified that Corona closed 3 of his peso accounts with PSBank on the same day that the House of Representatives impeached him. The accounts totaled P36-M.

Corona said in the Wednesday interview that the money belonged to his wife.

The prosecution considers Corona’s PSBank accounts as strong evidence to prove Article 2 of the impeachment complaint, or the alleged failure of Corona to declare his Statement of Assets Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN). His combined PSBank accounts show that he had about P20-M as of Dec 31, 2010, but he declared only P3.5-M in his 2010 SALN. – Rappler.com