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SC issues TRO on Corona dollar accounts

The Supreme Court has issued a temporary restraining order against the disclosure of a dollar account of Chief Justice Renato Corona at the Philippine Savings Bank.

Voting 8-5 with two justices inhibiting, the Supreme Court stopped the PSBank from revealing its records which have been subpoenaed by the Senate, acting as an impeachment court, on the request of the prosecution.

“The court took into consideration the law on foreign currency deposits. The TRO is indefinite until lifted. The dissenters are of the opinion that the TRO should not be issued,” said Jose Midas Marquez, Supreme Court spokesman and administrator.

The tribunal issued the decision after a three-hour special session, and after the PSBank president took the witness stand at the Senate for the second day yesterday for the continuation of his testimony. The Senate discharged the bank official after learning of the TRO.

Those who voted for a TRO were Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, Arturo Brion, Roberto Abad, Jose Perez, Lucas Bersamin, Martin Villarama, Bienvenido Reyes and Jose Catral-Mendoza. Those who voted against the issuance of a TRO were Antonio Carpio, Mariano del Castillo, Diosdado Peralta, Maria Lourdes Sereno and Estela Perlas-Bernabe, to whom the petition had been raffled.

Corona did not take part in the deliberations. Carpio being the next most senior justice, presided over the special en banc session. Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr. also did not participate in the PSBank petition because his son, Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco, was among the 188 congressmen who signed the petition impeaching Corona.