Beng: Non-disclosure of bank deposits is real issue PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 28 May 2012 15:13

House Deputy Speaker and District 1 Rep. Beng Climaco the other day said Chief Justice Renato Corona, who is on trial, should not shift the burden to the 188 solons and a senator who petitioned for his impeachment, just to divert or create an unreasonable condition for him to grant a waiver to open his dollar bank accounts.

Cong. Climaco said this, as she reiterated her firm stand in support of transparency but stressed that the real issue is Corona’s failure to disclose his bank accounts or deposits in his statement of assets and liabilities and net worth (SALN).

“He is the one on trial and he should not shift the burden to others just to divert or create an unreasonable condition or excuse for him not to grant the waiver,” Climaco , one of the signatories in the impeachment complaint, said.

Besides, she emphasized, bank accounts of government officials are already subject to scrutiny by the Ombudsman who has the sole authority to investigate government officials.

“So a waiver will serve no real purpose,” Climaco added.

Prior to the dramatic conclusion of his testimony before the Senate-Court last Tuesday, May 22, the chief justice signed a waiver authorizing the disclosure of his bank accounts and other assets by the banks and government agencies on condition that all the 188 lawmakers who signed the impeachment complaint, as well as Senator Franklin Drilon, sign a similar waiver as well. 

On Friday, however, the Chief Justice finally submitted his unconditional waiver to the impeachment court allowing authorities to release details of his bank accounts. The court welcomed the waiver but said it could no longer summon other witnesses for the hearing, given that the case has already been submitted for decision.

The impeachment complaint against the chief justice came after Corona and seven other appointees of former President Gloria Arroyo in the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) to block the travel ban against Mrs. Arroyo.

The grounds for Corona’s ouster are betrayal of public trust, culpable violation of the Constitution and graft and corruption, citing specifically in the eight articles of impeachment his “undue closeness” to Arroyo who is under hospital arrest for electoral sabotage. — Marvin Segura