Prosecution finds Corona’s ‘USD 700,000 bank account’

Carmela Fonbuena

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'Anonymous source' provides prosecution with documents of a dollar account under the Coronas

MANILA, Philippines – An “anonymous source” provided the Prosecution panel documents of Chief Justice Renato Corona’s supposed US$700,000 account with PSBank Katipunan branch.

That’s equivalent to about P30 million at current exchange rates of around P43 to a dollar.

In a supplemental request submitted to the Senate impeachment court on Friday, February 3, the prosecution attached photocopies of the supposed PSBank documents on the accounts of “Renato Coronado Corona.”

The $700,000 deposited in account number 08919100037-3 is supposedly just one of 14 accounts that the Chief Justice and his wife Cristina individually and jointly own with daughter Carla Castillo and her husband Constantino III. Prosecution wants the branch manager of PSBank Katipunan branch to appear before the court and bring the bank documents on February 7, Tuesday.

“The documents indicate an “initial deposit” of $700,000 (est. P34 million) in October 2008, which was not declared in the respondent’s SALNs,” reads the supplemental request.

“While it cannot vouch for the authenticity of said documents, the prosecution believes that it is its duty to submit the documents to this Honorable impeachment court, as they may have a bearing on the Court’s resolution of the pending request for subpoena,” it added.

Citing columns in Abante and Philippine Daily Inquirer, the supplemental request said, “it seems that the media itself also has information, if not documents, pertaining to these PSBank accounts.”

On Thursday, February 2, lead prosecutor Niel Tupas Jr. reiterated prosecution’s request for the impeachment court to subpoena Chief Justice’s accounts with PSBank and Bank of Philippine Islands (BPI). The defense panel had opposed the request.

In response, presiding officer Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile ordered the prosecution to specify the bank accounts. This is a deviation from the impeachment trial of ousted President Joseph Estrada, when the prosecution was liberally allowed to ask various banks if Estrada had accounts with them.

The supplemental request was filed to comply with Enrile’s order.

Prosecution discovered the PSBank account because of information that the Chief Justice won P1-million in the bank’s March 2008 raffle for its depositors. The BPI account, on the other hand, was discovered because of the checks issued by the Chief Justice to pay for several condominium units.

The prosecution is trying to prove that the Chief Justice was not truthful in his Statement of Assets Liabilities and Net Worth (SALNs) as alleged in Article 2 of the Impeachment Complaint.

In his SALNs from 2002 to 2010, Corona declared a maximum annual “cash and investments” of P3.5 million.

But prosecution noted how the Chief Justice was able to issue huge checks to pay for his condominium units. From August 2008 to April 2009 alone, the Chief Justice issued to Megaworld 4 BPI checks of about P5-million each (or about P20-million in less than one year) to pay for his condominium units. –










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