Chief Justice Renato Corona goes beyond redeeming himself to become hero of bank secrecy reform!


Chief Justice Renato Corona more than redeemed himself today after the minor debacle he got himself into when he left the witness stand before he was formally discharged on his first appearance in his own impeachment trial last Tuesday, the 22nd of May. Coming across today as forthright and sincere, Corona delivered a brilliant television performance, winning the hearts of the viewing public with his honest laying-everything-including-my-soul-on-the-table testimony and the steely gaze he maintained (occasionally interrupted by poignant emotional displays) as he responded to questions fielded by the Senator-Judges. Senator-Judges Miriam Santiago and Jinggoy Estrada threw leading questions almost as if to say answer our questions and tell us why you think this whole trial had been a farce from the very beginning.

From eight articles of impeachment down to three midway through, the once mighty case is now whittled to just one debatable accusation at the eleventh hour of the impeachment trial of the Chief Justice. It was a 40-day show featuring the Incredible Shrinking Impeachment Complaint. In the course of the trial, 45 properties the prosecution team alleged Corona owned turned out to be just five, and USD10-12 million alleged by no less than Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales to be tucked away by Corona in secret accounts turned out to be no more than USD2.4 million.

So the one violation of the law Corona remains accused of — the remaining article alleging that Corona failed to declare all his assets in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN) — remains in play albeit precariously debatable. Corona after all made it pretty clear in his testimony that he left out that USD2.4 million from his SALN by virtue of his interpretation of the Philippines’ bank secrecy law, specifically Republic Act 6426 which the prosecution team themselves along with “online reporters” Magtanggol de la Cruz and Carmela Fonbuena of may themselves have violated in the earliest days of the trial as they mounted their vilification campaign against the Chief Justice. The relevant section of RA 6426 reads…

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Section 8. Secrecy of foreign currency deposits. – All foreign currency deposits authorized under this Act, as amended by PD No. 1035, as well as foreign currency deposits authorized under PD No. 1034, are hereby declared as and considered of an absolutely confidential nature and, except upon the written permission of the depositor, in no instance shall foreign currency deposits be examined, inquired or looked into by any person, government official, bureau or office whether judicial or administrative or legislative, or any other entity whether public or private; Provided, however, That said foreign currency deposits shall be exempt from attachment, garnishment, or any other order or process of any court, legislative body, government agency or any administrative body whatsoever. (As amended by PD No. 1035, and further amended by PD No. 1246, prom. Nov. 21, 1977.)

[Photo courtesy]

Ironically, Corona himself may have marked the beginning of the end of the very law that had saved him during his ordeal. In the wake of his much-awaited personal appearance in court, Corona bestows an unexpected legacy to a circus long criticised for being an appalling waste of time and a mere product of the vanity and vindictiveness of a Philippine president: a precedent call to the government officials of the land to sign waivers opening their foreign currency bank accounts to public scrutiny. The call so resonated across the public that it could pave the way for legislation that may reform the country’s outdated bank secrecy laws.

Squarely in the cross-hairs of this call are the “188+1” lawmakers; the 188 Lower House representatives who hastily signed the sloppily-written articles of impeachment and one Senator, Franklin Drilon, who made no attempt throughout the trial to remain the objective Judge he was supposed to have stepped up to.

Who would have thought that Chief Justice Renato Corona might even come out of this a hero — the first top government official to voluntarily and unconditionally open his bank accounts to the public to precipitate long overdue transparency across the public service? So ironic that the man who President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III singled out as the biggest roadblock to making good on his Daang Matuwid “straight path” campaign promise would actually be the one who’d blaze a trail for it.

One thing consistent about every Corona appearance in court is that a high profile loser emerges every time. Last Tuesday it was Senator Franklin Drilon, singled out by Corona among the Senator Judges to include in a challenge he issued to 188 others to sign the bank disclosure waiver. Today it is no less than Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales wearing the dunce cap after coming across as a BS Aquino lackey. In a press conference hastily called by Morales shortly after Corona revealed some rather disturbing things about her character during his testimony, Morales stammered her way through her response to the inevitable question thrown at her: What was up with the USD10 million she claimed Corona squirreled away in secret accounts? She was either lying or dumb enough to have allowed herself to be grossly misled by her “researchers”. Perhaps she should have thought twice about calling that press conference.

What do they teach in Math classes in Philippine schools nowadays?

One thing’s for sure, the Senator-Judges will have to carefully calibrate their political radars to assess the public sentiment as they decide whether to acquit or convict. The thing with tele-impeachment trials is that it is all showbiz — and Corona put up a good show today. So good, that the usual suspects who, at the beginning of the trial months ago, gleefully highlighted the political aspect of this exercise as one that necessarily trumps its legal nature now wax rhetoric about its boring legalities. As modern-day philosopher Bart Simpson say: “Eat my shorts”. Most revealing, and something Senator-Judge Chiz Escudero made it a point to highlight, was how the prosecution seemed to have nothing further to quiz Corona on despite a long noisy call for him to show up in the trial in person. That fact in and by itself says it all.

Chief Justice Renato Corona may be a lawyer, but apparently he was well aware that he was surrounded by emos today.

63 Replies to “Chief Justice Renato Corona goes beyond redeeming himself to become hero of bank secrecy reform!”

  1. I thought CJ should have given Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s questions a more direct answer, he went off tangent in his answers.

    But then again, the prosecution (and their allies) have shown the oh-so-common penchant of the pinoy: shooting themselves in the foot.

  2. Article 11, Section 17 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution states that:
    A public officer or employee shall, upon assumption of office and as often thereafter as may be required by law, submit a declaration under oath of his assets, liabilities, and net worth. In the case of the President, the Vice-President, the Members of the Cabinet, the Congress, the Supreme Court, the Constitutional Commissions and other constitutional offices, and officers of the armed forces with general or flag rank, the declaration shall be disclosed to the public IN THE MANNER PROVIDED BY LAW.

    Now that the letters of law has clearly defined in Section 8 of Republic Act 6426 or the Foreign Currency Deposit Act that all foreign currency deposits must have ABSOLUTE CONFIDENTIALITY and that in NO INSTANCE shall foreign currency deposits BE EXAMINED, INQUIRED or LOOKED INTO by any PERSON, GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL, BUREAU or OFFICE whether JUDICIAL or ADMINISTRATIVE or LEGISLATIVE,or any other entity whether public or private.

    The constitution itself has provided that the DECLARATION of assets, liabilities and net worth of the President, the Vice-President, the Members of the Cabinet, the Congress, the SUPREME COURT, the Constitutional Commissions and other constitutional offices, and officers of the armed forces with general or flag rank shall be disclosed to the public IN THE MANNER PROVIDED BY LAW and that the law itself provides that foreign currency deposits enjoy ABSOLUTE CONFIDENTIALITY, CHIEF JUSTICE RENATO CORONA SHOULD NOT BE HELD LIABLE FOR NOT DECLARING HIS DOLLAR-DENOMINATED DEPOSITS.

    In fact, as Estrella Martinez, a CPA-lawyer and SALN examiner who served in the BIR for the last 32 years declared that she have never encountered a government official declare his dollar deposits in his SALN. Now is it safe to say that not one public official in her 32 years of work in BIR possessed dollar accounts?

    1. Agree mr libunao this was exactly corona’s answer when he was asked by kiko pangilinan why he chose to follow the fcda law over the constitution or saln law. Kiko was dumbfounded because corona was right.

      It’s not BS Aquino who’s leading our country to a straight path. It is indeed no less than Chief Justice Renato Corona.


    2. Senator Kiko Pangilinan certainly looked like a chump that day. And, yeah, aside from the ombudsman, Kiko also emerged as Loser Number Two yesterday. That last few seconds of dead air during his “manifestation” was a real monumental cringe.

    3. YES. It is only through a waiver of the depositor that an FCDU account can be disclosed. I have been working with a bank for 3 decades I should know WHY & HOW this Law operates. This WAIVER will be CJ Corona’s LEGACY despite his “conviction”. For me CJ Corona is the has more BALLS than Drilon & Tupas, who as of now is EVADING this WAiver! Has PNoy signed na?

  3. His walkout last tuesday shows he is unfit for the position chief justice, his arrogance and delaying tactic is enough for guilty verdict. Convict Corona!

    1. He fell ill and it wasn’t a walkout. Do you even read the news before you put your opinion?

      You’re so arrogant that you think you are part of the Senator Judges to convict Corona. Even way before the date they give a verdict.

    2. @Nutzi Fishball

      Thank you for validating your yellow species continued use of black propaganda and trial by publicity. You know it won’t work in this site. Your vicious judgement call states that: “he is unfit for the position chief justice, his arrogance and delaying tactic is enough for a guilty verdict.” Your delusional mind is apparent since you are not a judge and are in no position to even present and analyze evidence. May God forgive you yellow pharisee.

    3. Actually the alleged “walkout” turned out to be a bonus to Corona as it added a twist-and-redemption flavour to the drama which was capped by a bad-blood-then-reconciliation ending between Mrs Corona and her cousins that was caught on camera as well. No ABS-CBN scriptwriter could’ve done better than this. Ironic that the prosecution and the Black-and-White bozos first trumpeted the “political” aspect of this exercise. Turns out its political aspect was ultimately what worked in Corona’s favour.

    4. some people just get satisfaction out of sounding good without exercising any form ofmental masturbation, go give ur role model sen kikko maching a hug you fishbrain

  4. They threw everything at Chief Justice Corona… including the kitchen sink. They used hate-think, demonization and vilification through black propaganda. Repeated lies in mass media, fixed surveys, comments, text messages, social networking sites and vicious word of mouth gossip. Evidence was fabricated by the prosecution in their 45 properties revelation which turned out to be only 5. They did the same with the dollar accounts bloating it to 82. In truth it was just 4 accounts. We are now nearing the closure and judgement of the impeachment trial. What will be the verdict? I can only say this. How much is the price to pay for freedom and democracy? What is the cost of a creeping dictatorship without a shot being fired or martial rule being declared? The bottom line is the senator judges will also have to weigh the serious consequences that will affect the course of events in this country. The choice is very clear… Freedom and democracy must prevail above and over the spreading darkness of dictatorship. I pray that God guide the minds and collective conscience of the senators of the Republic.

  5. I forgot to say that he is also a midnight appointee of Gloria Arroyo. This is the very reason why he should be guilty and the Philippines can move on from the past which is all about corruption.

    1. if we really want to end corruption in the philippines, remove all current so called public servants..start anew… ban all the current ones (including anybody related to them)in having any government position ever…no exceptions..

    2. Corruption is due to people like you who doesn’t even bother to care if what they read is true or not. Corruption comes in many forms and size. The worst is corruption of the mind which usually leads to mass murders, injustices, lawlessness, loss of democracy, loss of freedom, etc. Proof? See Nazi Germany. See North Korea. See Stalin’s Soviet Union. See Rwanda massacre. And the list goes on. I pray to whatever God’s available that Philippines will not fall into that list. I fear for the worse thanks to people like you.

      CJ Corona’s appointment is legal and according to the law. Even your God PNoy couldn’t do anything about it except doing hastily created impeachment articles with full of lying witnesses, a small lady, anonymous informant, bungling prosecution, senator prosecutor and fully fabricated “proofs” against the CJ.

      1. wala yata ako sinabi na pro or anti corona. sabi ko is lahat which is true naman. now that corona saga is almost finished, after his verdict, whether guilty or not, sana ituloy na sa iba. sabi ng presidente he is after all the crooks. sana totohanin nya.

        pasensya na miauw ming kung hindi ako kasing talino mo para maisip kung totoo o hindi ang binabasa ko. ang aking nais lang ay tuluyang mawala na ang corruption. hindi ako pabor sa kahit kaninong personality. pabor ako sa accountability at transparency.

        1. Hindi tuluyang mawawala ang corruption. Sa totoo lang, there is ALWAYS corruption in any form of government. The difference is the progress made and how it is ran to meet the day to day and yearly goals.

          The only way we can do about it is to control it. Corruption is more than just stealing. See what Noynoy is doing: bribery and defiance of the rule of law is also corruption.

      1. @Nutzi cjcoronsky

        Thank you for validating the fact that most yellow pharisees are vicious, sadistic and crazed. You are quoting Inquirer? That is validating the fact that you love to use lies and black propaganda. See a shrink. You need help.

        1. De Fuhrer, you have zero votes to acquit Corona. Sen Estrada has one vote. Therefore you and GRP are not even worth the bother. Parang ipis kayo na trip ko lang hampasin 😀 ahihihihihi

        2. Miauw Ming – Already answered above. Kakatuwa lang kayong panoorin after CJ Corona’s Best Actor sakit sakitan performance. “Wee he’s a hero!” pa yang si Benign0. Tapos kakatayin rin lang naman sa Lunes. Pathetic, no?

        3. @cjcoronsky
          I also find it funny that you’ve got the time and effort to comment and stroke your own ego (usually the last sentence of your comment) at every article of GRP lately concerning the impeachment. You gotta start thinking of a new name soon though because the trial will soon end, haha.

        4. @cjcoronsky

          Actually I find it funny to watch you give your opinion which contradicts to your actions.

          I didn’t know CJ Corona became a movie artist. Since when did that happen? Or did you just made that up?

          The word kakatayin… not only you are a liar but you also do not have any qualms in killing anyone who doesn’t have anything to do with you.

          I am no longer talking about the article benign0 wrote but I am talking about you. A fine specimen of uncivilized and barbaric human being you are.

      2. Now would you hang yourself if he is acquitted? From today’s proceedings Sen Jinggoy seems to have changed his mind. 16 votes needed to convict. Goodluck.

        1. If they vote for the acquittal of cheat justice, then those senators wont get the majority vote in 2013. We have to remember that businessmen, students and most of the citizents want a conviction therefore Corona is the reason our country is going down.

        2. @Fishball:

          TROLL. 😛

          The reason why the country is going down because of the likes of YOU who voted for an incompetent nutjob, loves to go back to the old days of Inquisitions and witch hunts.

          The acquittal of Corona will remain the ‘checks and balances’ schtick. In fact, what you actually want is a dictatorship under Noynoy Aquino. Well, it’s fine for you at least he’s clean; a POV from an idiot like yourself. 😛 I guess you want to kill innocent people like PNoy, right? 🙂

        3. i do hope that these senator judges would have the guts to stand up for what is right…no matter how i look at it, corona will be the loser…as early as now, aBnoy is already laying out his next plans to make life miserable for corona in case he’s acquitted….he will stand to gain more (sadly) if he’s convicted coz it will expose the ugly and pathetic state of our senate and maybe….just maybe…people would clamor for change…but seeing how hard the aBnoy’s spin doctors work…i have very little hope for fair justice…sa dyaryo pa lang e…look at PDI…hindi na talaga nahiya…and the comments there!…parang nasa lugar ka ng mga walang modo at pinag aralan…:(

      3. az_121490: “You gotta start thinking of a new name soon though because the trial will soon end, haha.”

        I agree, at least Vincenzo Arellano and Nelson Ongpauco aren’t limited in scope by their seemingly respectable names. :))

        1. @xcjcoronsky: An anti-intellectual douche wrecking havoc and wants to destroy this country. Hihihihi. 😛

      4. You have lost your total credibility when you showed us an Inquirer link.

        Typical Yellow Zombie to be exact…

      5. @cjcoronsky

        Just to update you because you are starting to look pathetic when you keep pasting a link to an old article with irrelevant information:

        It wasn’t a walkout:

        “In his opening statement, Corona apologized to the court and said it was not his intention to walk out of Tuesday’s proceedings.

        “It was unexpected,” he said of his abrupt departure.

        “I hope you know that what we went through was not easy,” Corona said, adding that he spent sleepless nights for almost a week before his testimony Tuesday.

        “I was totally without sleep… Millions of our countrymen are focused on this trial. It’s the reason I failed to take my lunch before I went to the Senate impeachment court last Tuesday.”

        “What happened last Tuesday was not a walkout as referred to by certain sectors of the media,” Corona said.

        “It was not. There were still two pages unread. It was totally unexpected due to the intense situation.”

        While on the witness stand, Corona, a diabetic since 1986, said he felt his blood sugar slowly going down.

        “For those with diabetes or those with family members with diabetes, this would be easy to understand. One manifestation of hypoglycemia is the lowering of blood sugar,” Corona said.

        “I am not rude. I was just disoriented due to the drop in my blood sugar. I was in a total state of confusion. I felt dizzy and felt like vomiting. I don’t want to vomit in front of the cameras.”

    3. @Nutzi Fishball

      Thank you again for validating your big lie and gross ignorance of the settled ruling made by the Supreme Court on the matter. He is not a midnight appointee of former President Arroyo. He cannot be made guilty on this settled issue. This was not even raised in the articles of impeachment. You should seek psychiatric help.

    4. Stop listening to the Palace propaganda. Corruption is just in the past? What about the 3200 container vans that went missing in Customs? When Comm Biazon attempted to investigate or suspend people in Customs, Noynoy stopped him because they were ‘backed’ by lawmakers who support the Impeachment.
      What about his BFF Usec Rico Puno who controls the jueteng? Why did he appoint LTO’s Virginia Torres and MMDA’s Francis Tolentino who have corruption cases?
      If he is anti-corruption, then his crusade should apply to all. KKK or not. Supporting KKK is corruption in itself.
      If CJ is guilty, why did they have to use questionable evidence to try to convict him? esep. esep.

        1. How about we start on PNoy? Don’t you know he has the biggest pork barrel of all the presidents and he even use it to bribe the 188 congressmen on Corona’s impeachment.

          Look further, murderer. 😛

        2. @Nutzi fishball

          Wrong call. The deceiving Daang matuwid does not apply to me and all other free men and women. I believe in the straight and narrow path as revealed in the Holy Bible. As I said before… the “L” sign no longer stands for Laban. It now stands for Linlangin.

        3. @Fishball

          And how do you define who belongs to the biggest pigs? This already implies that your daang matuwid does not apply equally to all because you already have a preference who do you want to send to jail. I suppose you’d be saying “Damn the rule of law! Just send the people I don’t like to jail!”.

          Your friends are of course immune to daang matuwid because they are your friends. They can’t do wrong.

        4. @Miauw Ming: Do you think he will listen to you? He’s a Yellow Zombie in the first place. He is gullible to believe about the Aquino magic and hype and jailing supposed ‘corrupt’ people like Arroyo and Corona will be an achievement. Yes, an achievement from a TRIVIAL matter.

          Waste your time on ‘eradicating corruption’ yet the economy is still crumbling and many Filipinos were jobless. That also happened to Cory’s 6 years were everything is going down the drain and everybody is a crybaby on blaming Marcos for their own faults.

        5. Fishball, it’s called hypocrisy. And where is that AK47/DVD kid Llamas? What about gambling lord Puno?

    5. I forgot to say that he is also a midnight appointee of Gloria Arroyo. This is the very reason why he should be guilty and the Philippines can move on from the past which is all about corruption.

      -guilty of what???
      -any violation??

  6. It’s like a Knockout in a Main Event of a Boxing Match. Justice Corona, did what Manny Pacquiao do to his opponents. Give them a stunning blow to the Jaw, and they will be no more…
    Noynoy Aquino and the rest of his cahoots, need to bare all their assets and money to us. Including their offshore Foreign Bank Accounts. To ignore this call, will give us suspicions, that you are hiding something. Cockroaches are afraid to go to the light, so are these people…

  7. Senator Pimentel said that comingling of funds is not allowed and could make Corona in trouble. He must be saying sorry to Gloria Arroyo by now that he cannot be a lapdog to her anymore.

    1. CJ Corona outranks GMA right now. So he can’t really be her lapdog. The Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales however is a proven lapdog. Willing to lie under oath for her President.

      Co-mingling of family funds not allowed? Is that really a criminal activity to you? Or maybe it’s not allowed because it allows CJ Corona to perfectly explain the amount he is holding in his bank.

      1. “CJ Corona outranks GMA right now. So he can’t really be her lapdog. The Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales however is a proven lapdog. Willing to lie under oath for her President.”

        That’s why I’ve been trying to say to Mr. Vincenzo Arellano. You know what, in fact, Corona could have Arroyo tried for alleged corruption (something Peenoy wants) and not worry about the latter throwing rocks at him.

        Miauw Ming, BTW, do we know each other personally?

        If you think so, you know because I use this nom de guerre all the time.


    “Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience”
    – Mark Twain

    Kaya corrupt ang ating gobyerno at mga opisyal ay dahil tayong sambayanan ay corrupted din ang pag-iisip.

    Hindi naman maluluklok ang mga corrupt na opisyal kung di natin sila binoto. Makapangdadaya ba sila kung ni isang boto ay wala sila?

    Alalahanin natin, tayo ang nagluglok kay GMA nung 2001. Pareho rin ang attitude natin sa pagiging sarado ang isip, pagiging mapanghusga, vindicative at pagamit ng “hatred over reason”

    Hindi tayo macocorupt ng gobyerno kung tayo mismo ay hindi corrupt!

    Corrupt ang ating media, ang ating ugali at pakikisama kaya corrupt din ang ating pag iisip.

    The biggest problem with Democracy is that people tend to get exactly the government that they deserve.

    Democracy is a government of the people, for the people and BY THE PEOPLE. If we have a stupid government then I think it is safe to conclude that we have a population of stupid people…

    Change must come from us first.

    1. “Democracy is a government of the people, for the people and BY THE PEOPLE. If we have a stupid government then I think it is safe to conclude that we have a population of stupid people…”

      i think that is unfair that people are referred to as stupid. though some are just so beyond words. just like this current administration.

      i do agree to what you said to a certain extent. but these people who are labeled bobo, stupid or dumb are from those who suffer from poor education and are forced to sell their votes for cash or food. and and unfortunately those will not change anytime soon since those in power keep it that way so that they will remain in power.

      the media on the hand should also not abuse their position. the government, media and other corporations have for the most part be on the band wagon of whoever is in power.

      and most of these spineless politicians (not all, i still believe there are some who do what is right) all jump ship of the out going leader since they have no use any more! where are your fucking balls? integrity? most of them pretend to be devout catholics and pray and go to mass for show. HYPOCRITES! you think doing all these and confessing absolves you entirely and is exempt from karma? seriously?

      for the most part majority of the people are this way because they are kept there. standards are not set for the most part. they can’t separate business from personal. their mediocre performance is tolerated because they themselves know that they don’t know any better. thus we get sub par service, etc. there is no sense of urgency in how things are done be it in a supermarket or department store(5 people at a check out counter 1 task for each! for an item! WTF!!!) they love gossip and hearsay and focus on what is negative. they are always misled by most of the leaders. and maybe a glimmer of hope someday soon will be seen if we really give priority to a very excellent education.

      i think people who know better are tired of going against what is right and just watch after themselves. but after all this be it a conviction or acquittal, though enrile already hinted earlier what it will be because it is obvious the yellow admin got to him. but still let us not lose hope for it is all we have right now. let us hope that they will acquit so that we can press on for true reform in our government and our country.
      i wish that someday we will have a nation with no begging hands and starving children.

  9. Amazing at just how lack luster and unprofessional many of the government employee’s are along with the banking industry employee’s they seem to act the same and the response to Corona from the Prosecution leader was that signing a waiver of hidden funds is not even an option, what! And Senator Drillion boasts that he will not reveal his funds, he’s not on trial, I beg to differ, how can corrupt men find another corrupt man guilty? The final step to fixing corruption is changing these self-serving laws once and for all and the banks need to stop hiding also and might I add stop messing with people’s money as if it’s their own.

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