Prosecution: PSBank documents strengthen case against CJ Corona

February 18, 2012 12:22 am 

By Cielito M. Reganit

MANILA, Feb. 17 – The case against Chief Justice Renato C. Corona has gotten stronger as far as Article II of the eight Articles of Impeachment is concerned, members of the House of Representatives prosecution panel said on Friday.

Aurora Rep. Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, deputy spokesman for the prosecution team, said that documents so far brought out by officials of the Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank) had confirmed the existence of more than P50 million in several bank accounts owned by the chief magistrate that was not declared in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).

“Thursday’s hearing also proved the existence of three more accounts in the name of the Chief Justice that we previously did not know of. This is literally the tip of the iceberg since we do not know the whole picture yet,” Angara said.

If only a general subpoena was issued to the bank as in the 2000 impeachment case against former President Joseph Estrada, the proceedings on Article II would have not dragged on for weeks, he said.

A general subpoena would have permitted access to all the bank accounts under the name of the accused.

However, the prosecution pointed out that it is not a crime to become rich or to own several properties.

“The message here is clear. What is patently wrong here is that a public official should not betray public trust by not declaring all of his or her assets. That is what this impeachment is all about,” Angara stressed.

Meanwhile, the prosecution panel said that there seemed to be a pattern by the defense of attributing several undeclared assets of the Chief Justice to the Basa-Guidote Enterprise (BGE) Inc.

Marikina City Rep. Romero Quimbo noted that when the Belaggio property, as well as other properties, was uncovered, the defense panel said that the funds came from BGE.

“Now that three PSBank accounts totaling more than P35 million were uncovered and shown to have been withdrawn on the same date that the impeachment case was filed, the defense again said that it came from Basa-Guidote,” he said.

The defense panel stated Thursday that money deposited by the Chief Justice and his wife, Cristina, in at least three accounts with Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank) came from Basa-Guidote Enterprise.

Likewise, defense spokesman-lawyer Tranquil Salvador III confirmed that Basa-Guidote Enterprise, which was declared insolvent by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2003, was owned by the family of Corona’s wife, Cristina.

Salvador said that the defense “will explain at the right time” but could not say why the money ended up with several PSBank accounts belonging to the Chief Justice.

“It seemed that the Basa-Guidote claim is the only ace that the defense has in this case. Although the defense panel still has to take the stand, we think they will have a hard time explaining this,” Quimbo said. (PNA)

scs/CMR

Comments

One Response to “Prosecution: PSBank documents strengthen case against CJ Corona”

  1. musiclover on February 24th, 2012 3:13 pm

    tsk tsk .. ganyan talaga pag buhay politica ! di maiiwasan ang mga ganyang happenings…