Senator Pimentel doesn’t agree with Corona’s interpretation of law
MANILA, Philippines—Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said Friday he does not fully agree with Chief Justice Renato Corona’s explanation on why he didn’t disclose the amounts in his bank accounts.
“I was supposed to be the next one to ask questions to him but he already got tired. I was supposed to argue with him. I didn’t agree with his interpretation of the law, even on the dollar accounts I don’t agree,” Pimentel told reporters.
Corona testified that he didn’t declare his $2.4 million dollar deposits because it was considered absolutely confidential under the Foreign Currency Deposits Act.
He also said the P80-million bank accounts under his name was “co-mingled funds” from his own savings, his wife Cristina’s money from the sale of a Basa-Guidote Enterprises Inc. property and their children’s money.
He said it was not his money that’s why he didn’t declare it in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN).
“The only question was if [the impeachment court] agrees with [Corona’s] interpretation of the law on why he didn’t disclose [the deposits] in his SALN,” Pimentel said.
He said that “if [the bank deposits are] in your name and you are a public officer, you are duty-bound to disclose [them]. Unless you can cite to me a law exempting public officers from disclosing.”
“He knew he is a public officer, he should not have allowed the co-mingling of funds that he doesn’t own in his account,” Pimentel said.
“He will get into trouble if he allows that, and precisely that is what is happening now,” he added.
The Senate has scheduled the final oral arguments on May 25, Monday. The senator-judges will render their decision through a vote on Tuesday.