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National

Corona bank accounts closed on same day he was impeached by Congress

InterAksyon.com
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines - (UPDATE 2 - 5:36 p.m.) All five peso accounts Chief Justice Renato Corona maintained at the Katipunan branch of the Philippine Savings Bank had zero balances as of 2010 or 2011, including two that were closed on December 12 last year, the day he was impeached by the House of Representatives.

This was the testimony of branch manager Annabelle Tiongson on Thursday, Day 19 of the trial on questioning by Senator Sergio Osmena III.

Following is the information in Corona’s peso deposits based on the documents presented by Tiongson:

Account No. 089-121017358
Opening Date: January 26, 2009
Opening Balance: P2,100,000
Closing Date: April 16, 2009
Balance as of December 31, 2010: zero

Account No. 089-121019593
Opening Date: December 22, 2009
Opening Balance: P8,500,000
Closing Date: December 12, 2011
Balance as of December 31, 2010: P12,580,316.56
Balance as of December 31, 2011:  zero

Account No. 089-121020122
Opening Date: March 4, 2010
Opening Balance: P3,700,000
Closing Date: April 23, 2010
Balance as of December 31, 2010: zero

Account No. 089-121021681
Opening Date: September 1, 2010
Opening Balance: P7,090,099.45
Closing Date: December 12, 2011
Balance as of December 31, 2010: P7,100,00
Balance as of December 31, 2011: zero

Account No. 089-121011957
Opening Date: May 16, 2007
Opening Balance: P2,000,000
Closing Date: October 2, 2008
Balance as of December 31, 2007: P5,018,255.56
Balance as of December 31, 2008: zero

Reacting to the information on the two accounts closed on December 12, Aurora Representative Juan Edgardo Angara, one of the prosecution spokesmen, said these were “worth looking into.”

“Is it just a coincidence that he took out his money on December 12?” Angara asked.

Meanwhile, PSBank president Pascual Garcia III, who also took the witness stand, voluntarily disclosed that Corona had two other accounts, both time deposits, including one that he closed also on December 12 last year.

“There is another account under the name of Renato Coronado Corona under Account No. 089121023848, (a) peso time deposit with an opening date of June 29, 2011 and an opening balance of P17 million, (which) was closed and terminated on December 12, 2011,” Garcia said.

On the other hand, Account No. 089-121021444 was opened on July 23, 2010 with an opening balance of P7,370,438.65 and closed September 1 the same year.

Sought for an explanation on the closure of Corona's accounts on the same day he was impeached, spokesmen for his defense explained that the Chief Justice had to do so to avoid the impression the money was his.

Lawyer Tranquil Salvador III said the money belonged to Basa-Guidote, the corporation owned by the family of Corona's wife, Cristina.

But Salvador gave no other details, saying they would explain the matter more in the future.