PSBank exec to heed subpoena on Corona’s impeachment trial

February 7, 2012 11:11 pm 

By Joann Santiago

MANILA, Feb. 7 — An executive of the Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank) on Tuesday said he and his colleagues will attend the hearing as required by the Senate impeachment court in its subpoena.

“We received the subpoena in connection with the impeachment trial (of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona) and we shall appear in the hearing as directed by the Senate impeachment court,” said PSBank President Pascual M. Garcia III in a statement.

The Senate impeachment court sent out subpoenas to several banks where the chief magistrate was found to have kept deposit accounts.

Last week, the House of Representatives' prosecution panel asked the Senate impeachment court to subpoena officials of PSBank, Metrobank’s thrift banking arm, and order them to produce original and certified true copies of Corona’s alleged account in the bank’s Foreign Currency Deposit Unit (FCDU).

Garcia earlier said they are covered by the bank secrecy law and cannot be compelled to divulge information regarding its account holders.

He said Section 8 of Foreign Currency Deposit Act of the Philippines or Republic Act No. 6426 provides for secrecy on foreign currency deposits, which states that “all foreign currency deposits authorized under this Act are hereby declared as and considered of an absolutely confidential nature and, except upon the written permission of the depositors, in no instance shall such foreign currency deposits be examined, inquired or looked into by any person, government official, bureau or office whether judicial or administrative or private.”

“Therefore, any inquiry on any Dollar Deposit Account by any party is a violation of this law,” said Garcia.

However, RA 1405 states that bank accounts of an individual who is the subject of an impeachment proceeding are exempted from the law.

FCDU is a unit of a bank allowed to do foreign currency transaction such as deposit taking and withdrawals. (PNA)

DCT/lgi/JS/utb

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