Estrada suspects ‘leaked’ documents came from AMLC

February 20, 2012 11:50 pm 

By Jelly F. Musico

MANILA, Feb. 20 – Amid long query on the ‘leaked’ bank documents of embattled Chief Justice Renato Corona, senator-judge Jinggoy Estrada suspects that somebody from the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) provided the prosecution with the photocopied of the controversial documents.

”Perhaps one of the officials or the officer of AMLC photocopied the signature card of Chief Justice Corona and when the impeachment trial broke out, they gave it to the prosecution panel,” Estrada said during the 20th day of the impeachment trial of Corona on Monday.

”This is just my observation Mr. President. I’m beginning to believe and convince that it seems it was not the PSBank that leaked these documents,” Estrada added after listening to a lengthy probe of Garcia and Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank)-Katipunan branch manager Anabelle Tiongson.

Garcia revealed that he called an emergency meeting with Tiongson and other officials of the PSBank-Katipunan after House prosecution secretariat member Rep. Jorge Banal went to Katipunan branch with a photocopy of the leaked bank documents on January 31.

Garcia also ordered the transfer of Corona’s bank documents from Katipunan to the PSBank head office in Makati City following Banal’s effort to compare the leaked documents with the original copy.

Tiongson admitted that she was shocked upon learning that Banal had in his possession what appeared to be the specimen signature card of Corona.

Banal confirmed last week the testimony of Tiongson that he went to the PSBank with the leaked documents, which he claimed were left by somebody near the driveway of his house.

Banal said that he was just trying to help the prosecution, saying he intentionally kept to himself the discovery of the documents which appeared to be photocopy of dollar account of Corona.

Rep. Reynaldo Umali, a member of the House prosecution panel, claimed he also got the same leaked documents which a ‘small lady’ gave to him somewhere inside the Senate building on Feb. 2.

Estrada believed that the leaked documents were not fake due to the similarities of the entries in the leaked documents from the original copies.

The prosecution attached the leaked documents in its request for supplemental subpoena of Corona’s bank records.

Senator-judge Miriam Defensor-Santiago explained that the mere inquiry by any person on the foreign currency deposits is prohibited under Section 8 of the foreign currency deposit units (FCDU) law.

”The law is very, very strict. The law prohibits any person from asking any questions, inquired into by any person — government official, bureau or office etc. So the provision is absolute,” Santiago said.

Santiago commended Tiongson for refusing to allow Banal to compare the leaked documents to the original bank records.

The impeachment court had also discussed the prosecution’s written explanation on the leaked documents in a caucus but the court has yet to reveal its decision and instead spent most of the time of the 20th day of trial extracting information from Garcia and Tiongson regarding the controversial documents. (PNA) RMA/jfm


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