Impeachment and looming bank runs: Is economic plunder the real agenda of the Second Aquino Administration?

Looks like the venerable Philippine Savings Bank (PS Bank) is the next hapless chump thrust into the circus spotlight. In the usual tradition of the way the prosecution habitually pre-empts any court order to authorise any of its police activities, an “envelope” delivered by a shadowy “small lady” allegedly containing Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona’s specimen and signature cards has emerged as a key pillar in the prosecution’s request to subpoena Corona’s bank records. In the course of being pressed by Senator-Judge Francis “Chiz” Escudero on the nature of the “anonymous” source of his allegations, flustered former lead prosecutor Niel Tupas Jr was left with no choice but to hang Oriental Mindoro Rep. Rey Umali out to dry.

The serpent made me do it!

Umali, looking like the proverbial unprepared clown shoved in front of a stage facing an audience-packed theatre then reportedly “admitted that a ‘small lady’ handed him a brown envelope not knowing that it contained bank documents”. Umali went on to assert that his main role in this rather dodgy deal was to simply hand over this envelope to his colleagues in the prosecution team to decide on how best to use it in their case.

The trial is certainly going biblical with Tupas doing an Eve and Umali doing a Pontius Pilate!

Who is the biggest loser here? Who else but the little fall gal. The “small lady”, if identified, could face serious charges for violation of bank secrecy laws.

“I raised this [sic] concerns because whoever handed that document violated the bank deposit law. May I inquire who is this anonymous source?” Escudero said.

House lead prosecutor Niel Tupas claimed that it was congressman Umali who handed to him the envelope containing Corona’s customer identification and specimen signature card with Philippine Saving Bank.

Umali admitted that it was him who gave the envelope to Tupas in one of the hotel along Roxas Blvd. on Thursday night last week.

“I couldn’t recall who handed to me the envelope. I could recall a small lady but I couldn’t recall who the lady was,” Umali said.

Senator-Judge Vicente “Tito” Sotto III suggested a review of recordings from closed circuit television cameras to determine who Small Lady is following Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s ominous reminder to everyone that “no one — not anyone from the legislature, judiciary, or the executive — is exempt from sanctions for violating the law.”

Undaunted, and apparently condoning what could be a serious criminal violation of the Philippines’ bank secrecy laws, prosecution spokesman Rep. Romero Quimbo said in a briefing of the press that “it would be a ‘disservice’ to the country if they do not show the specimen and other bank account details.”

In the impeachment trial of President Joseph “Erap” Estrada in 2001, a small bank run was preciptated after a bank executive testified in the trial and voluntarily provided bank records outside the umbrella of a proper court order. Quite coincidentally (or maybe not), it was lawyer Mario Bautista who presented what at the time was star witness Clarissa Ocampo, an executive at the Equitable Bank Corporation, who testified against Estrada. Quite ironic that Bautista who now heads the private legal team provided by media network ABS-CBN to assist the prosecution was once commended by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo back in 2004…

“He helped turn the tide of history as private prosecutor when he presented Clarissa Ocampo as the key witness in the trial of the century [i.e. the trial of the impeachment of former President Estrada]. Congratulations to you, Mario, thanks for your contribution,” Arroyo said in a speech during the 2004 homecoming dinner of the University of the Philippines Class of 1979.

Not surprisingly, the business community in the Philippines — already reeling from dismal economic progress in an economy suffering from a chronic crisis of confidence — is up in arms over the prospect of another blow to their already dim prospects for the year…

An official of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce, who requested anonymity, said granting the subpoena could result in a bank run similar to the one that hit Equitable PCIBank during the 2001 impeachment trial of President Joseph Estrada, who was eventually found guilty of plunder.

“The members of the chamber are afraid that it might trigger a bank run, just like what happened … when Equitable PCIBank suffered massive withdrawals,” the businessman told the Manila Standard.

Granting the House prosecutors’ motion to subpoena documents on Corona’s accounts despite the Bank Secrecy Law would set a bad precedent and hurt the economy, the official said.

Already there is much accounting going on in the public over how much damage is being sustained by Philippine society at large as this impeachment trial drags on. Specifically, the scorched-earth bombardment and fine-meshed dragnet fishing approaches being employed by a desperate prosecution team working with a sloppily-written set of Articles of Impeachment is exacting a toll on the state, the effects of which may take several years to reveal themselves.

The vanity and vindictiveness of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and the possible links of this resolve to stop at nothing to take control of the Supreme Court to the fate of the vast Hacienda Luisita estate of the Cojuangco clan provides a compelling context in terms of what is at stake in this circus. A key question is now emerging as the astounding scale of this vendetta comes to light:

Is the crusade to oust Corona and its now very evident ties to the quest to save Hacienda Luisita shaping a new form of plunder of the country being mounted by the Second Aquino Administration?

Abangan ang susunod na kabanata…


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29 Comments on "Impeachment and looming bank runs: Is economic plunder the real agenda of the Second Aquino Administration?"

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Belinda Madrid
Very interesting… an informant hands over crucial evidence that could be the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back and the only description is that the person is a “small lady”??? Wow it’s a good thing I do not work for PS bank because I could very pass for the small lady in question! A Bank is a trusted intermediary. What the bank sells is trust. When bank employees are seen conniving with anyone to give confidential information there will be potential loss of trust…and can lead to this. It is true that this confidential information can also be used… Read more »

The prosecution are providing evidence to the senate knowing the document with Corona’s signature specimen was illegally obtained. Alam ba nila ang rule of evidence? Bakit naman tinanggap ng senate ang illegally obtained document?

Nikko Mahor

our country is led by a fool, a senate who is interested in just keeping up with appearances, a house of representatives who are actually a pack of clowns.

the remedy: DO NOT VOTE LIBERAL come 2013.

Domingo Arong
“[It] would be a ‘disservice’ to the country if they do not show the specimen and other bank account details.”–Rep. Romero Quimbo, prosecution spokesman This is one great statement from the prosecution spokesman that we should all welcome, the defense in particular, for it would indeed be a “disservice” to the Republic if “the specimen and other bank details” of only ONE Member of the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice, are disclosed selectively to the public to verify “a declaration under oath of his assets, liabilities and net worth.” And this is precisely the intent the Framers conveyed in Sec… Read more »
noy abnoy



Santiago Vargas

What a chaos created by the yellow-political-epidemic…

Phil Manila

“admitted that a ‘small lady’ handed him a brown envelope. . .

Ahaha! Truly a gem!

Next time around, they will call the white lady to testify on ‘ghost’ accounts. 🙂


Meanwhile, in related news…

Aquino said he finds disturbing the CA’s ordering the government to infuse P25 billion into the shuttered bank.

The hacienderos should rather get that P25 billion, am I right?

Lord Chimera

“The small lady gave it to me”. Right, how conveniently vague can Umali get and I don’t believe it.

If you ask me it’s another scheme by the prosecution’s trial-by-media tactic. Piece of advice, be careful your cunning does get out of hand…..


This just in…malacanang just made a press statement questioning the pro bono practice of cj defense lawyers…ano na naman kababawan to?! Utang na loob noy! nilindol na at nililindol pa ang visayas & mindanao, kung yun na lang kaya ang asikasuhin mo!

By this time, PSBank would be going through its compliance procedures and seeking out the last person to touch (view) the account. That is, of course, if the bank has any compliance procedures, and they had any sense of urgency. I pity PSBank, but if they had any due diligence procedures, they’d have at least suspended the bank employee by now. I’d pull my money out of PSBank now before it’s too late. Glad I put my money elsewhere. But there are retards out there who would say that bank secrecy is nothing when stood against to the “will of… Read more »

[…] personal information from his accounts at the Philippine Savings Bank (PS Bank), which was reported passed to a member of the prosecution by an anonymous “small lady” employed by the bank. Despite a stern warning from Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile that no one […]

Hyden Toro
In any Bill of Rights… “the accusse has the Right to meet and confront his/her acussers”… If an unknown “Small Lady”, whom you don’t even know ,or, what Planet , she may come from.Or, who she was; hands you an envelope, containing documents. Would you use it, as an evidence? How do you know, if the “documents”; she is handing to you, is authentic or fabricated? You don’t even know, where it came from, or who is handing you these papers… I have never seen such idiot lawyers in my life…I worked with our Corporate Lawyers…and they continue laughing at… Read more »

[…] was with Marcos, during the Marcos era. Farinas became a Governor of Ilocos…Hyden Toro said In any Bill of Rights… “the accusse has the Right to meet and confront his/he…bogz said Sex sells. :3annaschell said I do strongly agree with you. But what they have done with […]


[…] a Get Real Post comment Domingo Arong, elaborates further: I’m more interested in the term “trust,” which–like […]


[…] Corona’s bank documents. The revelation made by former lead prosecutor Niel Tupas Jr the previous day (the 7th Feb) highlighted yet another instance of the prosecution team pre-empting any authorisation from the […]


[…] allegedly filled with bank documents. We’ll get to that in a while. Do recall first how on the 7th of Feb the Senate court presiding over the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona issued a […]