Aquino spokeswoman denies central bank behind leak of Corona bank records
MANILA, Philippines—Malacañang on Saturday dismissed allegations that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas was the source of confidential bank records being used by House prosecutors to pin down impeached Chief Justice Renato Corona on charges of unexplained wealth.
“At this point, these are just speculations and the investigation is ongoing and we know that the BSP, being the regulator of banking institutions, will not allow these things to happen,” Abigail Valte, one of President Benigno Aquino’s spokespersons said.
Valte vouched for the BSP’s ’integrity a day after Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile blasted the institution for supposedly not bothering to investigate how a photocopy of Corona’s signature cards in Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank) ended up in the hands of the prosecutors.
Valte said officials of BSP and even the Anti-Money Laundering Council have submitted themselves to the investigation being conducted by the Senate.
“We hold the BSP in high regard because we know (its officials) are doing their job,” Valte said in a news briefing aired over the state-run radio dzRB.
“There would be no coverup. They have always held themselves to the highest degree of integrity,” she said, when asked to comment on the possibility that BSP examiner Jerry Leal would be made “a sacrificial lamb” lest higher central bank officials be dragged into the probe.
Some senators have expressed suspicion that Leal was the source of the documents following his appearance at a Senate inquiry into the alleged leak of Corona’s PSBank records. The BSP conducted an audit of the private bank in 2010.
The prosecution has accused Corona of not disclosing millions of pesos in bank deposits in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).
Valte said the Aquino administration agreed in principle that the country’s bank secrecy laws and related laws should be reviewed, as suggested by the senators following the leak.
She said the administration was keen on addressing the difficulties stemming from certain provisions of the Foreign Currency Deposits Act (FCDA) on the confidentiality of such accounts.
“In reference to that particular amendment, President Aquino said we all agree because we can see the obstacles that have been caused,” Valte said.