BPI mum on Corona dollar accounts

Posted at 05/15/12 6:15 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) on Tuesday insisted on the confidentiality of the relationship between banks and depositors in connection with the alleged dollar acounts of Chief Justice Renato Corona.

"In the banking industry, our relationship with our depositors is built on trust," BPI said in a statement.

"We cannot build and sustain this trust if we do not adhere to and observe the time-honored banker and depositor confidentiality, subject of course, to certain exceptions provided for by law," the bank said. "At the moment, we cannot make a comment on the alleged dollar accounts with us."

This, as Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago on Tuesday said the Senate impeachment court should subpoena the managers of several bank branches to testify on the allegations of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales regarding Chief Justice Renato Corona's dollar accounts.

Morales has told senators that Corona's dollar deposits grew from just one dollar account in 2003 to 82 accounts by the end of 2011.

She said there were “significant deposits and withdrawals on various significant dates including the 2004 and 2007 elections as well as the week he was impeached specifically December 12,13, 15, 19, 20, and 22, 2011.”

She said on December 12, 2011, the day he was impeached, Corona pre-terminated a US dollar time deposit account amounting to $418,193.32 and then added to another bank in Bank of Philippines Islands (BPI) San Francisco del Monte branch.