Video from government TV station NBN-4
IMPEACHED SUPREME COURT Chief Justice Renato Corona acknowledged having $2.4 million in dollar deposits in four dollar accounts, but stressed that the money was bought and deposited in the bank over a period of 35 years.
Responding to a question from Senator-Judge Allan Peter Cayetano, Corona revealed that he already had $2.4 million in his bank accounts, or roughly P103 million at the exchange rate of P43 to $1.
“Humigit kumulang po ay $2.4 million US dollars,” Corona said when asked how much was in his dollar accounts.
“Pero gusto ko ipaliwanag yun, hindi yun pinasok na 2.4 million, binili yun over many years. Ang exchange rate nung nagumpisa nung una akong bumili, two (pesos) to one (dollar) pa nung 1960s.”
Corona said that by his estimate, his dollar accounts would now be worth P 90 million.
“Thirtyfive years kumikita ng interest yan.” Corona said. “Simple buhay namin, hindi kami mahilig sa sosyalan. There was hardly ever any time na nagalaw namin ang interest.”
Cayetano then asked whether he thought that his refusal to declare his dollar accounts in his statement of assets liabilities and net worth was still consistent with the spirit of transparency and accountability. Corona had maintained that he never declared his dollar accounts in his SALN because these are covered by the foreign currency deposits act, which imposes an absolute veil of secrecy or confidentiality over foreign deposits.
Corona said he did not want to sound legalistic, but that he thought that he had explained sufficiently why there was no need to declare the dollar accounts based on the foreign currency deposits act.