• Is your money safe in a bank?



    If you see in the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) an efficient banking industry regulator, there may be syndicates of unscrupulous operators out to sabotage your bank accounts to embarrass BSP officials.

    Here is an advisory: Be vigilant over your bank savings. Who knows one day you may suddenly find the amount of money in your savings accounts exposed to the public.

    Remember the bank accounts of then Chief Justice Renato Corona, who died on April 29 before he could reach his 68th birthday? He suffered injustice in an impeachment trial that began in December 2011.

    What happened to the Chief Justice could also happen to you.

    Yes, you may be thinking the same thing as I do: Vendetta must be the reason for the impeachment of the late Chief Justice. He who led a unanimous ruling of the Supreme Court that voided the distribution of certificates of ownership in a stock corporation named Hacienda Luisita Inc. was made to pay dearly for depriving his accusers of their inheritance.

    Apparently, the Corona-led SC did not find the piece of paper given to tenant farmers as an acceptable legal replacement for their share in Hacienda Luisita. They were and still are entitled to get their fair share of the property under the law.

    Secrecy of bank deposits
    This Duediligencer column, however, is not about Hacienda Luisita. Neither is it about the late Chief Justice Corona but more about the secrecy of bank deposits.

    But for the record, the 20 senators who went along with the move by Malacanang’s chief occupant for the ouster of Chief Justice Corona were Juan Ponce Enrile, Edgardo Angara, Alan Peter Cayetano, Pia Cayetano, Franklin Drilon, Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, Francis “Chiz” Escudero, Teofisto Gungona 3rd, Gregorio Honasan 2nd, Panfilo Lacson, Manuel Lapid, Loren Legarda, Sergio Osmena 3rd, Francis Pangilinan, Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel 3rd, Ralph Recto, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., Vicente “Tito” Sotto 3rd, Antonio Trillanes 4th, and Manuel Villar.

    Have they been bribed? Look what money can do to politicians. Remember their names when you cast your votes on May 9.

    Only the late Senator, Joker Arroyo, along with Miriam Defensor Santiago and Ferdinand Marcos Jr., voted for the acquittal of Chief Justice Corona.

    BSP, the regulator
    As a regulatory authority, BSP exercises jurisdiction over banks. As such, it is expected to preserve the secrecy of deposits. If this is so, how did the information on Mr. Corona’s bank deposits mysteriously appear during the impeachment trial? It is about time BSP officials investigated the matter to identify the saboteurs of its regulatory power over banks.

    Whoever had manipulated the numbers to bloat the amounts of Chief Justice Corona’s savings deposits should be made to suffer the consequences of his/her/their illegal acts either today or tomorrow. The sooner they get punished the better for most people to appreciate.

    Mr. Corona’s ordeal is being recalled here because of the recent “expose” on the bank accounts of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who happened to be leading in surveys among presidential candidates.

    Again, this is not about Mr. Duterte. This is only to emphasize a reader’s reaction to Duediligencer’s “What a way to harm banks!” which appeared on March 13 in this space. The reader, who identified himself only as Sensei Max wrote: “This matter is sending a bad signal to retiring people on where to deposit their retirement pay and savings.”

    Well said. But who cares? For BSP officials, they would simply blame the shortcomings of the law on anti-money laundering for the missing $81-million owned by the government of Bangladesh. Ironically, the senators agreed with them, forgetting that they should not condemn the laws that their predecessors in Congress have made and imposed on Filipinos.

    Why didn’t BSP officials and the senators just make use of the provisions of the anti-money laundering law that were applicable to Bangladesh government’s missing $81 million?

    Blame lawmakers
    I googled “anti-money laundering” and found some more people for the BSP and the senators to blame: Franklin M. Drilon, then president of the Senate, and Jose De Venecia Jr., speaker of the House of Representatives at the time, who led in passing the Anti-money Laundering Act.

    Senator Drilon, who consistently sides with whomever is Malacanang’s chief occupant, and De Venecia, were not alone in legislating the Anti-money Laundering Act. The entire membership of both houses of Congress should be held responsible for what they think today to be an erratic legislation that was signed into law by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

    Lest Duediligencer be accused of favoring any candidate, I want to make a disclosure. I was not one of the voters who were responsible for sending to the Senate a rebel who fought the Arroyo government because he showed the people how brave he was.

    Yes, Antonio Trillanes 4th was brave because he had guns. Does he still own them today?

    Going back to bank deposits, the reader of The Manila Times was right in raising an issue that the government may have forgotten to consider. To paraphrase his poser, which bank really is safe for a retiree’s money? He is right in posing the question to which, unfortunately, no one has the answer.

    As for Duediligencer, it can only assure Sensie Max that the illegal release of Mr. Corona’s bank accounts was “in aid of impeachment” while that of Mr. Duterte” was in aid of political convenience.” Both were victims of “isolated cases” of improper disclosure of material facts.

    Having been chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, lawyer Perfecto R. Yasay Jr., perhaps, would know the definition of material facts.



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    1. emerterio perez you are now another one who seems not to mind these people of power abusing the system. You want the whistle blowers caught but the perpetrators of the crime you want let off. Ex chief justice corona said he didnt declare his money in his dollar account as he didnt know he had to. Huh are you kidding me, do you think im an idiot. Well im not he had almost 180 million pesos. Say it very slowly to imagine exactly how much that is. & he didnt know he had to declare it on his saln. The plain truth is he was trying to keep it hidden, he was trying not to pay taxex on it, he didnt want people to know he had more money than he had ever made. It was ill gotten money & he thought he knew full well where to legally hide it. I for one take my hat off to these whistle blowers & we need more of them & they deserve the full protection of not only the law but of the whole filipino nation. Rid the country of these corrupt scum. Why dont we with peso accounts get bank secrecy. What is so special about the crooks who use it to hide their ill gotten money.

      • duediligen er on

        Duediligencer is for transparency. Whistleblowers should expose all candidates’ bank accounts and not be selective.