Stop release of bank documents, defense asks court

Natashya Gutierrez

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They say bank documents should be released only upon Corona's permission

MANILA, Philippines – The defense on Tuesday, February 7, filed a motion to quash the subpoena of Chief Justice Renato Corona’s bank accounts and the officials of these banks. 

The bank acounts in question are Corona’s Bank of the Philippine Islands local currency bank accounts in the Ayala Avenue, Makati branch, and his foreign currency bank accounts for Philippine Savings Bank in the Katipunan branch in Quezon City.

These are scheduled to be presented on Wednesday, February 8, based on a majority decision issued by the impeachment court on Tuesday, February 6.

The defense counsels argue that the subpoena “will allow complainants to support their allegations under paragraph 2.4,” where Corona was “suspected and accused of having accumulated ill-gotten wealth.” The court prohibited the introduction of evidence pertaining to this Article on January 27, saying it should be “considered unwritten.”

Introducing the evidence, the motion said, will violate Corona’s constitutional right to due process.

The defense also referred to the R.A. No. 6426, the Foreign Currency Deposit Act, that states that the only way bank accounts can be released is “upon the written permission of the depositor.”

They argue that the cases referred to by the prosecution in Salvacion v Central Bank of the Philippines and China Banking Corporation v Court of Appeals “cannot be made the apply to the instant proceedings.”

They said the Salvacion case involved a rape case which was “sought to satisfy an award of damages” and not to inquire into foreign accounts. As for the Chinabank case, the request to reveal bank account information was made by a co-depositor of the account in question.

The motion also said that following the Supreme Court’s ruling on Intengan et al. v. Court of Appeals, “the mere attachment of bank records pertaining to foreign currency deposit is to a complaint-affidavit, without the depositors consent, is already considered a criminal offense punishable by RA. 6426.”

The Intengan case ruled that no foreign currency deposit should be examined except upon the written permission of the depositor, even in cases of impeachment. – Rappler.com

 

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Natashya Gutierrez

Natashya is President of Rappler. Among the pioneers of Rappler, she is an award-winning multimedia journalist and was also former editor-in-chief of Vice News Asia-Pacific. Gutierrez was named one of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders for 2023.