If bank records were illegally-obtained, PSBank execs’ testimonies void
MANILA, Philippines—The defense panel of Chief Justice Renato Corona said Monday the entire testimony of the Philippine Savings Bank officers could be stricken out of the records if it was found the documentary evidence pertaining to Corona’s bank accounts was obtained illegally.
“[Illegally-obtained] evidence is inadmissible, so everything that we have done in days, weeks will be thrown out,” defense lawyer Tranquil Salvador said during a press conference after the proceedings on Monday.
The photocopy of PS Bank account opening documents in the name of Corona that were allegedly handed to Oriental Mindoro Representative Reynaldo Umali had come under question after both PS Bank president Pascual Garcia III and PS Bank Katipunan branch manager Annabelle Tiongson testified that it had not come from PS Bank.
Salvador said the court was questioning “the very serious matter” of whether the document was leaked or fabricated.
“What we have here now is either a spurious document or a leaked document, either way the prosecution really needs to explain,” defense lawyer Rico Paolo Quicho said.
Salvador said that if the document was fake, whoever made it could be held liable as well as the prosecution because they are presenting it as evidence.
Quicho added that because this document was used and submitted before the impeachment court without being verified or studied, “this has hit the heart of the banking industry.”
Quicho said that if the document was taken without the permission of the bank or the owner “it is automatically illegal.”
“If the [impeachment court sees] that the root of this evidence is illegal this will be for nothing, it could be stricken out,” Salvador said.
“[It will be] such a waste of time,” he added.
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