AS THE NATIONAL TELENOVELA (also referred to sometimes as the impeachment trial) draws to a suspenseful climax, many are left wondering what lessons may be drawn from the high stakes drama that has both entertained and afflicted the nation.
Renato Corona, Supreme Court Chief Justice and quite possibly now the best-known diabetic in the country aside from Gary Valenciano, has admitted to having both peso and dollar deposits in his name that he had not declared in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth. Corona justified the existence of these accounts, saying the peso accounts were not exclusively his, and the dollar accounts were covered by confidentiality because of the foreign currency deposits act.
Sheila Coronel, founding Executive Director of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism and current Director of the Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism at Columbia University, now offers a tongue-in-cheek introductory lesson on how not to get caught with your hand in the proverbial cookie jar – or more appropriately, with your name on the bank account, regardless of who really owns the moolah.
In her investigative reporting blog Watchdog Watcher, Coronel tells us how other characters did it – some unsuccessfully, like some former Presidents we know, and some successfully, like some Chinese, Russian, or Mexican mafiosi we would rather not know or meet.
Coronel of course has quite a bit of experience sniffing out things that are hidden, be they wealth or mistresses, having led the PCIJ team that investigated former President Joseph Estrada more than a decade ago.
Read Coronel’s blog on How to hide your wealth 101 at her investigative journalism blog Watchdog Watcher here.