MANILA, Philippines – Day 37 of the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona began with a bold assertion by defense lawyers he will face squarely charges he kept $10 million in secret accounts. By day’s end, however, the defense team appeared shell-shocked, after its hostile witness, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, shared with the court highlights of the chief magistrate’s dollar stash. Her source: a report by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC).
Corona has $12 million in “fresh deposits” in various banks, Carpio-Morales said Monday. This is aside from the $10 million Carpio-Morales said Corona had maintained in 82 accounts in five banks and where he had made deposits and withdrawals “on very significant dates,” including the 2004 and 2010 elections, and on December 11, 2011, the day he was impeached by the House of Representatives.
i was fascinated by the huge amounts, and puzzled by the movement of funds, in and out, in and out, and i wondered “aloud” via facebook and twitter what that was all about, why move money around in different accounts that are all under his name anyway. obviously it wasn’t to hide the money, because then he would have put it in the names of other people or aliases ala jose velarde.
no one had an answer on twitter, though one said it was indeed “very weird.” but on facebook a friend seems to have figured it out:
he was trading his US dollars in the dollar trading market. Interest in FCDU deposits are extremely low. I wonder who was busy trading his accounts, or was he doing it himself on his spare time? … on just the transaction flows I estimate he lost about $2M over the years — which should reflect the general FC market trend of the same period. I hope some traders will be available to confirm these speculations.
now i want to know where those dollar deposits that coincided with “signfiicant events” came from. unless the ombudsman’s testimony was indeed all a ‘lantern of lies,’ as the chief justice insists.
Morales noted that there were significant transactions made during significant dates, particularly in 2004 and 2007, which were election years, and during the week Corona was impeached. She said $418,193.32 in time deposit was withdrawn when Corona was impeached, and $417,978.80 was transferred to a regular trust fund.
“We will debunk all her bloated numbers. And once she is proven wrong, I urge her to immediately resign from her post for allowing herself to be used by this Administration and making a laughingstock of government auditing,” Corona said.
“bloated,” hmm. so, less than bloated would be acceptable? the lantern metaphor, though, is intriguing. around here, lanterns are usually more decorative than illuminating.