PSBank chief discloses Coronas' joint accounts

by Ira Pedrasa,

Posted at Feb 20 2012 08:06 PM | Updated as of Feb 21 2012 06:43 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank) President Pascual Garcia said Chief Justice Renato Corona opened a “checking account” where he parked the contents of 3 peso time deposits he closed on the day he was impeached on December 12, 2011.

By way of credit memos, the following amounts were transferred to checking account no. 089101005094, which was opened on July 27, 2011: P7,397,566.30 (transferred from a peso time-deposit account); P12,988,951.36 (transferred from a peso time-deposit account); and, P17,270,654.97.

Based on the testimony of PSBank Katipunan branch manager Annabelle Tiongson last week, account 089121019593 was closed on December 12, 2011. It was opened on December 22, 2009 with an amount of P8,500,000. It became P12,580,316,56 as of end-2010.

The other account that was closed on December 12, 2011 was 089121021681.

It was opened on September 1, 2010 with an amount of P7,090,099.45. As of end-2010, the amount was at P7,148,238.83.

Both are peso time deposits.

The other account, which was not a subject of the original subpoena, was also closed on the same date. It had an initial deposit of P17 million on June 29, 2011. It is also a time-deposit.

Joint accounts

In response to questions from Senator-judge Franklin Drilon, Garcia also revealed Corona’s joint accounts with wife, Cristina.

He said peso time deposit account 089121012666 was opened on August 9, 2007 with an opening amount of P66,674.86. This was closed on October 2, 2008.

Time deposit account 08912102713 was opened on August 17, 2007 with an amount of P44,449.85. It was closed on September 19, 2007.

Account 089121012882 was opened on September 19, 2007 with an amount of P94,589.59. It was closed on September 18, 2008.

Account 089121020133 was opened on March 4, 2010 with an amount of P7,280,000. It was closed on May 24, 2010.

Account 089111019584 was opened on September 12, 2007 with an amount of P50,000 and closed on February 27, 2008.

Account 089111019787 was opened on October 30, 2007 with an amount of P50,000. It was closed on October 2, 2008.

Whose witness is Garcia?

Private prosecutor Demetrio Custodio then moved to have the documents marked as the prosecution’s evidence.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile asked him, however: “Are you making this witness your witness.” Custodio answered: “Only insofar as the additional bank accounts are concerned.”

Lead defense counsel Serafin Cuevas said: “I can’t see how could that be, your witness can’t be half for prosecution and then half for defense…Ngayon lang ako nakarinig ng ganyan in my 4 decades in the academe.”

He said the prosecution can’t just disown Garcia since he was presented as its own witness.

“Witness was our witness when we presented him on direct…but we already discharged him,” Custodio said. He said they are not adopting as evidence the signature specimen card that Garcia had presented.

Enrile ordered the prosecution to justify the action in a memo. “You’re bound by the document you produced,” he said.

Garcia also brought to court Corona’s original signature specimen card, which was used to compare with a photocopy that the prosecution earlier attached in their request for subpoena.

The prosecution had claimed the account had an initial deposit of “$700K”, which it interpreted to be $700,000 (around P38 million in October 2008).

The subpoena has been the subject of a dispute among senator-judges since the accounts contain information on foreign currency deposits which are absolutely confidential unless the depositor agrees to disclose the information.