The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines - The name of Quezon City congressman Bolet Banal emerged on Day 19 of the Corona impeachment trial on Thursday after a bank manager identified him as the person who approached her regarding the accounts of Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Banal's emergence raised questions as to the provenance of the controversial bank documents being cited and submitted by the House panel prosecuting Chief Justice Corona. In particular, it fuels speculations as to the existence of the "small lady" whom prosecutors insist gave them the documents.
Who exactly is Bolet Banal?
Jorge "Bolet" Banal has been the Representative of the 3rd District of Quezon City since 2010. He was a two-termer QC councilor from 2004 and was the top city councilor of Quezon City in 2007; he was named one of the 10 Most Outstanding Councilors in the Philippines for the same year. In the House of Representatives, he is the Deputy Majority Leader and Vice Chairman of the Committee on Basic Education and Culture. He maintains a weekly column for the tabloid Abante Tonite called "Bite da Bolet".
Prior to his political life, Banal worked for a bank in the United States and earned a business degree from the University of Santo Tomas. According to his official website, he completed his Master's degree in Public Administration in the University of the Philippines.
He is described as an advocate of literacy, having founded several reading campaigns. Banal has been a member of President Benigno Noynoy Aquino III's Liberal Party since 2002. He supported the impeachment of Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo.
He is the member of the prosecution's secretariat.
In 2009, Banal was the first Kaya Natin! Champion of Good Governance and Ethical Leadership from Metro Manila. He is also a children's book author, penning "The Magic Arrow", "KikoMan", and "Ang Bintana ni Lolo Othello." Aside from this, he is also a songwriter and his song 'Himig ng Kalikasan' won as Best Folk-Pop Recording in the 1998 Awit Awards.