Senate accepts bank records as evidence vs. Corona

The Senate has ruled that it will accept the bank records of Chief Justice Renato Corona submitted by the prosecution as evidence in the impeachment trial.

In a press conference, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile announced that the  impeachment court had denied the motion of Corona’s defense to suppress the peso and dollar accounts with the Philippine Savings Bank (PS Bank) as evidence on the grounds that these were illegally acquired.

Enrile said following a caucus, the senators made the decision to accept the formal offer of evidence submitted by the prosecution panel.

The Senate President said that for the bank records to be excluded, there should be “an unwarranted search and seizure or arrest is done by the state or her agents such as the police and the military.” In the case of Corona’s accounts with the PS Bank, there was no indication of any such act by the government.

Enrile however said the senators have not yet decided on the opening of bank account but only on the documents at hand.

Meanwhile, the senators decided not to impose any punishment against private prosecution lawyer Vitaliano Aguirre except for a reprimand. Aguirre was cited in contempt last week for covering his ears as Sen. Miriam Santiago was lecturing prosecution lawyers for withdrawing five of the eight charges they had filed against Corona.

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