May 7, 2012
OMBUDSMAN CAN LOOK INTO CJ CORONA'S
In an interview earlier today, Senator Edgardo J. Angara said the Ombudsman can present its findings about the alleged $10 million account of Chief Justice Renato Corona to the impeachment court.
He added that said findings may be turned over voluntarily by the Ombudsman to the impeachment court, or one of the Senator-Judges may request for the information to be submitted to the court.
"It will be evidence by the impeachment court coming from an official , legally and lawfully authorized to provide that kind of evidence. Now, to be fair to the defense, we should also give them the opportunity to rebutt and provide further evidence," he said.
"Under the SALN law, only the Ombudsman can do that investigation. The Ombdusman will do a simultaneous trial - purely a investigatory fact-finding inquiry - the result of which, the Ombudsman will turn over to the impeachment court," he explained.
"The Ombudsman has the authority on its own. It is authorized by the law to do that - scrutinize evidence on unexplained wealth, its findings are officially acceptable in any judicial or any administrative bodies," he added.
The veteran legislator and lawyer explained that the confidentiality of foreign currency accounts are protected by law, hence PSBank cannot reveal or disclose any details pertaining to the Chief Justice's account.
"The reality is that on public record, part of the public domain, part of the public knowledge, is that the chief justice has a dollar account. How much? We will know from another intervention by the Ombudsman."
When asked if he thought whether information about Corona's foreign currency account is important to trial, Angara replied, "It can be decided because there is an official, lawful confirmation of a fact already on record. Heretofore, what we know is that the records of the PSBank contains a dollar account of CJ Corona. That's public record. And so the findings of the Ombdudsman will confirm and reiterate that fact."
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