Archive for May 15th, 2012

I must admit that since the re-opening of Corona’s impeachment trial last week, my afternoons are being eaten up  staying in front of the TV and making notes of the unfolding drama right before my eyes. It’s more than a teleserye because you can’t even predict the ending and the characters seem to change clothes as fast as they can say, Your honor.  There is this  lady senator who acts like maamong tupa one moment and a raging volcano the next.  And the faces of the Defense team, Tatang Cuevas makes me really laugh sometimes.  Kidding aside, I learned a lot the past two days  and it does help that my experience  as a bank employee for more than twenty-one years made me  more appreciative of the ongoing trial. Bank transactions  – deposits, withdrawals,  bank transfers,  ending balances, AMLC, they’re  familiar enough .

DAY 37

Yesterday was day 37  of the Corona impeachment trial and the senator judges were in complete attendance (for the first time, I think).  Last week, one of the lawyers of the Defense told the Impeachment Court that CJ Corona agreed to testify at a  later date and they asked  Enrile to issue a subpoena to Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales on the alleged $10M  dollar account of Corona.  They wanted to prove that such account does not exist.  Morales would be a hostile witness for the Defense.  She arrived at the Senate  before 2pm and she was the first witness to testify for the day.  Cuevas recalled that she was the only one who dissented to the appointment of Corona as Chief Justice in 2010 on what was considered a midnight appointment made by Arroyo. When Morales received a complaint regarding some dollar accounts of Corona, she wrote to the latter to explain about it and sought the assistance of the AMLC (Anti-Money Laundering Council) and formed a panel to act on the complaint. She started a fact-finding investigation  and was able to obtain materials relevant to the complaint.  She explained that she was just discharging  her mandate. The Defense has moved to consider her as a hostile witness so Enrile declared the Ombudsman as a hostile witness to the Defense.

Cuevas has finally met his match. It was a verbal tussle between two former justices of the highest court of the land.  And the thing is, the Defense team thought Morales’ testimony would strengthen Corona’s case but it did the opposite, it backfired on them.  Morales was able to obtain a 17-page report from AMLC  detailing the dollar trail of the  various Corona accounts consisting of about  $10M deposited in five banks.  I would like to point out that the Anti Money Laundering Act (R.A. 9160)  criminalizes money laundering, creates a financial intelligence unit (FIU), imposes requirements on customer identification, record-keeping and reporting of covered and suspicious transactions, relaxes strict bank deposit secrecy laws and provides for freezing/seizure/forfeiture recovery of dirty money/property.
It was later amended by R.A. 9194.

Katarungan at Katotohanan – Day 38

Sen. Pimentel in his interview prior to the start of the hearing said that AMLC should explain  the report on Corona accounts.  Ombudsman Morales showed in her second day of  testifying before the Impeachment Court  a  power point presentation of the summary of US$ inflow  in Corona’s account from April 14, 2003 to December 22, 2011 amounting to $12,155,350.86.  Staggering? Questionable?  Suspicious? Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt, only he can explain where this huge amount came from.  Morales mentioned that Corona made significant deposits and withdrawals during the 2004 and 2007 elections and the week of his impeachment last December 2011.  It’s interesting to note that Bank of the Philippine Islands where I used to work issued this statement since it was mentioned as one of the banks where Corona maintains his account:

Bank of the Philippine Islands
Statement re: Corona Impeachment Trial

“In the banking industry, our relationship with our depositors is built on trust. We cannot build and sustain this trust if we do not adhere to and observe the time-honored banker and depositor confidentiality, subject of course, to certain exceptions provided for by law. At the moment, we cannot make a comment on the alleged dollar accounts with us.”

BPI is not actually denying that Corona has a dollar  account with the bank .  Oh yes, Justice Cuevas, hindi na uso ang passbook. BPI has been using ATM cards since the 80’s 🙂 And here’s  a complete summary on what happened on Day 38. It’s an ABS CBN news blog. Thanks ABS CBN!


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