Senate to Ombudsman: Bring docs on CJ's '$10M’
MANILA, Philippines – It’s time to bring out the documents.
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile ordered Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, and the complainants against Chief Justice Renato Corona to appear before the Senate on Monday, May 14.
Through a subpoena issued on Wednesday, May 9, Enrile asked the following complainants to appear before the Senate:
- Harvey Keh of Kaya Natin
- former Akbayan Rep Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel
- Akbayan Rep Walden Bello
- Emmanuel Tiu Santos
Enrile ordered Morales to appear and bring with her the original and certified true copy of the complaints against Corona, and that of the “documents on which they (complainants) based their accusations that the Chief Justice has foreign denominated accounts with an aggregate value of US $10 million.”
For the complainants, Enrile asked them to bring the original and certified true copy of the “documents on which you based your accusations that Chief Justice Corona has foreign denominated accounts with an aggregate value of $10 million.”
On Wednesday morning, Carpio-Morales said she will testify once called by the Senate.
Enrile granted the request of Corona’s lawyers to issue the subpoena with the promise that Corona will testify to rebut the testimonies of Morales and the complainants.
On Tuesday, May 8, defense counsel Jose “Judd” Roy III made a surprise announcement that Corona decided to face the issues against him head on.
Last April 20, Morales ordered Corona to explain reports he has US $10 million. Corona ignored the order and denied owning the amount.
On Monday, May 7, Keh submitted to Enrile’s office a copy of supposed bank “transaction records” of Corona. Keh said he got these from an anonymous source.
Enrile told reporters Wednesday, May 9, that he did not open the documents from Keh. Watch the interview here:
‘No need for waiver from Corona’
For Enrile, there is no need to ask Corona to waive his rights to bank secrecy.
Enrile told reporters that he is taking the word of Corona’s lawyers that the Chief Justice will disclose his bank accounts once he takes the witness stand.
“Walang kailangan na waiver-waiver. Basta kung ano ang tanungin ‘pag nagtestigo si Chief Justice, nasa kanya ‘yun if he will answer or not.” (There’s no need for a waiver. Whatever is asked of him, it’s up to him if he will answer or not.)
Enrile said he understood that Corona’s commitment to testify was unconditional.
“He’s willing to bear all out. ‘Yun ang narinig ko eh.” (That’s what I heard.)
‘Source of $10-M immaterial’
Enrile also reiterated that the source of the alleged $10 million is not the issue.
“It’s immaterial. We only characterize it as asset. Was it included in the SALN or not? We are talking about non-inclusion.”
Asked whether Corona’s testimony is just limited to the supposed $10 million, Enrile said, “I don’t know. I cannot anticipate that. It’s up to the Chief Justice to defend himself or not.”
Enrile also stressed that the Senate will not allow Corona and Morales to be disrespected on the witness stand.
“We grant him all the courtesies due him as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. There’s no one who will insult him or be rude to him. We will treat him with utmost deference.”
Enrile added, “When a question is propounded to them, it’s up to them to answer or not. If they don’t answer, there is an implication of non-answer. If they answer, there’s also an implication of the answer.” – Rappler.com
Click on the links below for more stories.
- Was Corona honest?
- Corona triples wealth while in SC
- Corona has $10-M bank deposits—Ombudsman
- Is Corona contradicting self in SALNs?
- Corona had P20-M in 2010, bank exec says
- Secrecy in foreign bank accounts