Chief Justice Renato Corona closed three deposit accounts with PSBank on Dec. 21, 2011, the day he was impeached by the House of Representatives, bank executives revealed on Thursday, a month after the impeachment trial started in January.
PSBank-Katipunan branch manager Annabelle Tiongson submitted Thursday certified bank records showing details of Corona's five time deposits between 2007 and 2010.
While three of the accounts were closed in 2008, 2009, and 2010, two of the accounts (089-121019523 and 089-121021681) were closed on Dec. 12, 2011.
The five accounts were covered by a subpoena issued by the Senate, sitting as an impeachment court, upon the request of the prosecution.
The first of two accounts closed on Dec. 12, 2011 (089-121019523) was opened on Dec. 22, 2009 with an opening balance of P8.5 million.
The second account, on the other hand, was opened on Sept. 1, 2010 with an opening balance of P7,090,099.45.
Tiongson also brought with her a certified verification statement from PSBank that shows that Corona does not have any "financial instruments" like investment, management, or trust and mutual accounts with the bank as of February 2012.
A third account
After Tiongson finished her testimony, PSBank president Pascual Garcia III took his turn at the witness stand during which he revealed that there was a third account — a fixed-term deposit — under Corona’s name not covered by the subpoena but was also closed on Dec.12, 2011.
The time deposit account was opened on June 29, 2011 with a P17-million placement, Garcia testified.
Senator Jinggoy Estrada questioned the timing of the closing of Corona’s bank accounts before the impeachment court.
“Ayoko maglagay ng malisya pero nagsususpetsa talaga ako,” the senator said.
Demetrio Custodio, one of the private prosecutors, meanwhile noted that the timing of closing the bank accounts seemed to show “an attempt to conceal certain amounts.”
“This will show that it is in preparation for the impeachment trial,” he said.
Last Dec. 12, 188 lawmakers voted to impeach Corona for betrayal of public trust, culpable violation of the Constitution and graft and corruption.
The impeachment court is currently tackling Article II of the impeachment complaint, which accuses Corona of failing to disclose to the public his statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth as required under the constitution. — Andreo C. Calonzo, Mark Merueñas/RSJ/KG/VS,