Ombudsman: I will testify in impeachment trial
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales says if subpoenaed, she will testify before the impeachment court regarding the US$10-M deposits the Chief Justice allegedly owns

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales. File photo courtesy of the Official Gazette.

MANILA, Philippines – “If I’m subpoenaed by the Senate, I will obey the Senate.”

This is the response of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales to the question on whether she will testify at the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona regarding the US$10 million he allegedly owns, deposited in various accounts.

Carpio-Morales made this statement on Wednesday, May 9, during an anti-corruption rally at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City, part of the 24th anniversary celebrations of the Office of the Ombudsman.

On Tuesday, the defense lawyers of the Chief Justice asked the impeachment court to subpoena Carpio-Morales and 5 other people, in exchange for Corona testifying.

Aside from her, others whom the defense said should be called to testify are the complainants in the forfeiture case filed against Corona with the Ombudsman: Harvey Keh, Ruperto Alerosa, former Akbayan Rep Risa Hontiveros, Albert Concepcion, and Akbayan Rep Walden Bello.

On April 29, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that the Ombudsman sent an April 20 letter to Corona ordering him to explain “within 72 hours” his alleged $10-M dollar accounts which are “grossly disproportionate” to his income.

This came up as part of the verification of his declarations in his previous Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN). Corona and his counsels have repeatedly said the money doesn’t exist.

Carpio-Morales is a former Supreme Court justice. She is related to SC Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, Corona’s perceived nemesis in the High Tribunal.

The Supreme Court has stopped the Philippine Savings Bank from disclosing the dollar accounts of Corona. The impeachment court decided to heed this verdict. –

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