Corona has ‘obligation’ to reveal his dollar accounts, says Carpio
Chief Justice Renato Corona has an “obligation” to disclose his dollar accounts because he had already admitted to owning them, according to Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio.
In a dissenting opinion, Carpio said Corona would put himself “beyond the accountability of the people” should he not disclose his dollar accounts.
“Chief justice Corona has the ‘obligation’ to disclose these foreign currency assets to the people, who have ‘the right to know’ his assets,” Carpio said in his dissent to the tribunal’s ruling stopping the opening of Corona’s dollar accounts.
“The Constitution mandates that public officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people. A government official who refuses to be accountable to the people by not disclosing assets he admittedly owns, despite his obligation to so disclose to the people, who have ‘the right to know’ his assets, puts himself beyond accountability to the people,” he added.
Carpio also said that the strict disclosure rules of the Foreign Currency Deposit Act of the Philippines (Republic Act No. 6426) on dollar accounts were intended to protect foreign depositors and not Filipinos.
He added that RA 6426 had also been repealed or modified by the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (Republic Act No. 6713), which says that government officials have the “obligation” to disclose their assets and that the public has “the right to know” such assets.
“The world will now know that Philippine foreign currency deposit accounts provide a much better safe haven for ill-gotten wealth than Swiss bank accounts,” Carpio said.
“Former President Ferdinand Marcos was wrong in depositing hundreds of millions of US dollars in Swiss bank accounts. Had he deposited, even in his own name, the money in foreign currency accounts with local banks under RA 6426, as amended by his three presidential decrees, he would have gotten away with his loot under his ruling of the majority,” he added.
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