Press Release
March 21, 2011


Questioning Edgardo Yambao

DRILON: Mr. Yambao, during the last hearing when I confronted you with the accounts in the various banks and challenged you whether you hold these accounts, you said you will check it. Did you check your records?

YAMBAO: My counsels checked it your honor.

DRILON: Your counsels checked it?

YAMBAO: Did you mean the records at RTC Branch 61 Makati, your honor?

DRILON: No. The bank records which I assume you have copies of showing your deposits and the corresponding account numbers. You denied initially your ownership of these accounts and when I challenged you to waive the amounts appearing in those accounts in favor of the Republic of the Philippines, you changed your mind and said, 'Let me check my records'. Now, have you checked your records whether or not those accounts are yours?

YAMBAO: I was trying to check my records and still trying to collate it. My counsels went to RTC Branch 61 and requested for the copy that were furnished to you with regard to those bank accounts and up to now, they have not furnished them.

DRILON: Don't you have copies of those bank accounts?

YAMBAO: As far as my copies are concerned, I do not have those amounts.

DRILON: As far as your records are concerned, you do not have those amounts?

YAMBAO: Yes, your honor.

DRILON: And therefore whatever amount that we will find out in those accounts, since these are not your deposits, you are willing to waive it in favor of the government?

YAMBAO: It will take some time... it will take some time to answer that. I have to explain it your honor.

DRILON: Go ahead, if you want to explain it.

YAMBAO: As a private citizen your honor--just like you yourself before, before you became senator, before you became a politician, you are also a private citizen, you are also entitled to some rights like right to privacy, right against self-incrimination, right under the Bank Secrecy Law--and I think marami na po akong rights na na-violate way back 2005. And up to now, I don't think I'm willing to waive my rights. Although na-violate na po, hindi po ako willing na ma-violate pa ulit. Up to the last cent po your honor, I will protect my rights--I will protect my bank accounts even if it has P1 or P100,000.

(JPE questioning Yambao)

DRILON: Let correct misimpressions that you are projecting. And you ask your lawyers, under the Anti-Money Laundering Law, the government, upon authority of the court, has the right to look into accounts where there is a predicate crime that is established. In your particular case, you are deemed to be in conspiracy with the Ligots and you are being used by the Ligots to hide their unexplained wealth that is why there is a forfeiture case. All that transpired is in accordance with the Anti-Money Laundering Act. I do not know what rights were violated. I have not heard anything but let me tell you that the AMLC went to court precisely to get authority to look into the accounts. The AMLC was given authority by the court, in accordance with the AMLA and therefore your accounts were traced. Very huge amounts of money were deposited in your name. Millions of dollars were shown to have been deposited with your name. So, that statement that your rights have been violated... the process is outlined in the AMLA. Your lawyers ought to know better than to advise you that your rights have been violated since 2005. Your accounts were exposed consistent with the provisions of the AMLA.

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