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Prosecution seeks entry of Corona bank records as evidence in impeach trial

/ 04:14 PM January 31, 2012

MANILA, Philippines – Bayan Muna representative Neri Colmenares on Tuesday urged the Senate, acting as an impeachment court, allow the entry of bank records of embattled Chief Justice Renato Corona as evidence in his ongoing trial.

His statement was made in the wake of the prosecution panel’s announcement that they would ask the impeachment court to subpoena Corona’s bank records. Lead prosecutor Iloilo representative Niel Tupas Jr., said that they were considering going through the chief justice’s bank records to support their allegations.

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Citing Corona’s statements that he would answer the allegations, Colmenares said that the defendant’s team should allow the records to be presented to the impeachment court “if he really wishes for the truth to come out. He should explain these [bank records].”

The prosecution team last week said that they were thinking of getting the chief justice’s bank records to determine if the assets in his bank accounts matched those in his statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALNs).

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They based their move to have the bank records presented under Section 2 of the Republic Act 1405 or the “Act Prohibiting Disclosure of or Inquiry Into, Deposits With Any Banking Institution and Providing Penalty Therefor”.

Prosecution spokesman Deputy Speaker Erin Tanada said that such a move was legal, saying “we are not violating any law because [the records] will be used in the impeachment trial against the chief justice.”

But Colmenares said that they would have to wait for the actual subpoenas, adding that they have submitted their list of witnesses to the impeachment court.

Asked whether the prosecution team would opt to trim down their articles of impeachment, Colmenares said that their team “can go through the eight articles [but the] prosecution always has the discretion when to end [discussions on the articles] just like the defense.”

“Personally, I think that if the prosecution feels that they have established the case, then they have the discretion to stop,” Colmenares said.

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TAGS: Bank records, Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares, Chief Justice Renato Corona, Corona Impeachment, Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas, impeachment trial, Prosecution
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