BPI branch manager discloses Corona’s P12.23-M checking account

February 9, 2012 11:32 pm 

By Jelly F. Musico

MANILA, Feb. 9 – A female branch manager of the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) took a witness stand of the impeachment trial of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona and revealed on Thursday that the chief magistrate had a checking account with an ending balance of P12.02 million as of December 2010.

Leonora Dizon, branch manager of the BPI-Ayala, said that Corona “is the owner of 1445-8030-61,” referring to BPI Express Teller Checking Account that the chief magistrate opened in 1989.

Dizon said that based on subpoenaed documents, she brought the records beginning 2005 which had ending balance of only P149,767.36. It rose to P153,395.12 as of December 31, 2006; P5,069,711.18 as of December 31, 2007; but reduced to P1,525,872.87 as of December 31, 2008, and further to P678,501,83 as of December 31, 2009.

Senator-Judge Serge Osmena III asked the court to subpoena other bank accounts of Corona not only with BPI as Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank) as well after Dizon said she can only talk about the subpoenaed checking account.

The senator-judges debated Osmena’s motion while the defense panel opposed the request.

The defense lead counsel, former Justice Serafin Cuevas pointed out that Corona’s BPI account balance may be due to several transactions.

Presiding Officer and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile instructed both the defense and the prosecution to go to BPI Makati branch to get the bank statements to shorten the proceedings.

Senator-Judge Joker Arroyo fizzled out the debate as he suggested instead to tackle the motion in a caucus at 11 a.m. on Monday, saying “we should not argue in public.”

Dizon was the second bank official to testify after PSBank president Pascual Garcia III earlier confirmed that Corona had five peso accounts but refused to confirm allegations that the chief justice also maintains dollar accounts with the same bank.

The PSBank official said the total ending balance of Corona’s peso accounts was nearly P20 million as of December 2010, the year he was appointed as chief justice by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. (PNA)



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