Senate heeds SC’s TRO on alleged dollar deposits of CJ Corona

February 9, 2012 11:32 pm 

MANILA, Feb. 9 -– The Senate, sitting as impeachment court, heeded on Thursday the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the Supreme Court (SC) on the subpoena issued by the impeachment court on the alleged dollar accounts of Chief Justice Renato Corona.

”From hereon, in deference to the SC, the interpreter of the Constitution and guardian of our basic rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, this chair would suggest and recommend to this impeachment court and the two sides of the case — the prosecutors and defense — to take heed and let us discuss other issues other than foreign currency deposits because of the presence of a TRO from the SC and will discuss that in due time,” Senate President-Presiding Officer Juan Ponce Enrile said.

Enrile made the ruling upon hearing from Senator-Judge Panfilo Lacson that the SC issued a TRO on the subpoenaed dollar accounts of the Chief Magistrate.

Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank) president Pascual Garcia III was being asked at that time by the senator-judges on the alleged 10 bank accounts, including five dollar deposits, of Corona with the PSBank.

Despite pressures for him to present Corona’s alleged dollar deposits, Garcia insisted that he could not do so for fear that it might expose him as well as other officials and employees of the PSBank to criminal liability since the law on foreign currency deposit provides that the release of dollar account requires permission from depositor.

The impeachment court has already directed Garcia to submit a written explanation for his refusal to divulge Corona’s dollar accounts.

The bank official complied but the court decided to tackle the written explanation on Monday next week. (PNA) DCT/scs/jfm

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