SALN and Bank Accounts of Justice Corona

The prosecution panel of the House of Representatives on the impeachment of Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Renato Corona on Wednesday asked the Senate, sitting as the impeachment court, to issue a subpoena requiring four local banks to produce the bank account records of the chief magistrate and his wife Cristina.

Section 2 of Republic Act 1405, or an Act Prohibiting Disclosure of or Inquiry into, states that deposits with any banking institution and providing penalty therefore, however, allows disclosure of bank records in case of impeachment.

The House prosecution panel, in a four-page request, moved to require officials of the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), the Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC), the Philippine National Bank (PNB), and the state-owned Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) to testify on the bank documents of the Corona couple.

House prosecutors asked that the subpoenas be addressed to the presidents of the BPI, RCBC and LBP or their authorized representatives and managers of BPI Ayala Avenue Branch in Makati City and RCBC Katipunan Avenue Branch in Quezon City.

The bank officials were being asked — when they appear at the trial scheduled Jan. 26 — to bring with them true copies of the account opening forms and monthly statements of the bank accounts in the name of the Corona couple.

The chief justice is being accused of acquiring unexplained wealth consisting of high-priced real properties and huge bank deposits.

Prosecutors alleged that Corona failed to declare these assets in his Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) since his appointment as Supreme Court associate justice in 2002 and chief justice in 2010 by then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

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