PNoy: Peso accounts enough to convict Corona

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 13 2012 10:32 PM | Updated as of Feb 14 2012 03:00 PM

MANILA, Philippines  - Chief Justice Renato Corona's peso bank accounts that were not reflected in his Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth (SALNs) are enough for the Senate impeachment court to find him guilty and remove him from office, President Benigno Aquino said on Monday.

"Doon pa lang sa na-unearth na peso accounts, malaki na ang diperensya na mukhang napatunayan na iyung kaso," he said after a command conference with officials of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Aquino said the differences in Corona's SALNs and cash in bank accounts can prove Article 2 of the impeachment complaint.

Article 2 accuses Corona of not truthfully disclosing his SALNs as required by the Constitution.

Corona had a total bank balance of P19,728,555.39 from 2 peso accounts in Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank) as of end-December 2010, records from the bank showed last Wednesday. 

Corona also had a total bank balance of P12 million in a Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) checking account as of December 31, 2010, bringing to P31,752,623.09 his cash in 3 accounts from 2 different banks as of the end of 2010.

These bank balances are much higher than the P3.5 million cash and investments he declared in his SALN for 2010.

Various documents from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and Registrars of Deeds in cities where the Coronas have real properties also show discrepancies between his actual properties and what he declared in his SALNs.

Aquino believes the prosecution will have other avenues to secure other relevant data related to the impeachment complaint.

'Defense losing confidence'

When asked about the defense's allegation that the Palace is offering a P100 million bribe to each senator-judge, Aquino said the defense team may be losing confidence in themselves.

"Noong araw wala nang nagawa kung hindi laitin ang prosecution panel. Ngayon para bang nawalan sila ng tiwala sa kakayahan nilang lampasuin ang ating mga prosecutors," Aquino said.

He added he will not give dignity to the defense's allegation by commenting further on the issue. "Di ko na siguro bibigyan ng dignidad ang kanilang mga akusasyon."

He reminded the defense lawyers to present proof when making an accusation. - report from Jasmin Romero, ABS-CBN News