Manifestation before the impeachment court by Sen. Santiago – 15 May 2012

Yesterday (14 May 2012), the Ombudsman’s power-point presentation indicated that defendant has 82 dollar accounts in the following bank branches (with the accompanying number of accounts per bank):

  •             BPI Acropolis Branch – 8
  •             BPI Tandang Sora - 18
  •             BPI Del Monte, Quezon City - 34
  •             BPI Investment Corp. -1
  •             PSB Cainta – 8
  •             PSB Katipunan - 6
  •             Allied Bank – 4
  •             Deutsche Bank – 2
  •             City Bank - 1

Because of hi-tech banking practices today, any information about a bank account will depend upon the system adopted by a particular bank.  For example, the bank could follow the customer transaction system or the bank transaction system. Hence, it could be possible that a single sum of money could be represented as a double entry.  One entry would be made in the credit column and another entry would be made in the debit column, although both entries could deal with one and the same amount of money.

A client could deposit and withdraw the same amount within a single day or within a few days of each other, if he engages in dollar trading.  A client who maintains a foreign currency deposit is not required to acquire a license for this purpose.  However, to engage in dollar trading, two or three accounts are sufficient.  It would be unnecessary to maintain all of 82 accounts.

The standard practice in the banking community is to raise the bells and whistles when one client seeks to keep more than two or three accounts.  To allege that the defendant had, for example, 34 accounts in BPI Del Monte taxes the credulity of bankers.

Therefore, I humbly propose, if there is no objection from our colleagues, that the Senate President should subpoena the manager of all nine bank branches that I have just enumerated.  The most knowledgeable official about a person’s bank account is the branch manager.  The branch manager is required by law and by standard banking policy to seek and record details about the client.#

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