‘Rep. Banal’ gains worldwide Twitter fame

Posted at 02/16/2012 7:26 PM | Updated as of 02/16/2012 7:26 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Social media was abuzz about Chief Justice Renato Corona’s impeachment trial, with netizens Tweeting about new peso accounts not previously presented by PSBank officers and Quezon City Rep. Jorge “Bolet” Banal.

“Rep. Banal” trended, at fourth place locally and at sixth place worldwide as of posting time, because it was revealed during the testimony of PSBank Katipunan branch manager Annabelle Tiongson that he approached her a few days after she received the impeachment court’s subpoena.

According to Tiongson, Banal asked her for help in interpreting certain parts of a document the branch manager recognized as the prosecution’s Annex A.

Annex A is the leaked document containing details of Corona bank accounts that the prosecution attached to their supplemental complaint on February 2.The impeachment court and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas are currently investigating the source of the leaked document, as it should not have been accessible to anyone outside PSBank.

“I think Rep. Banal has a lot of explaining to do!” tweeted @icarraymundo.

Several others also speculated that maybe the prosecution’s “small lady” is actually a man. However, in an interview with reporters, Rep. Reynaldo Umali stood by his word that it was not Banal but a “small lady” who handed him documents that eventually became the prosecution’s “Annex A.”

Meanwhile, netizens had mixed reactions to PSBank Pascual Garcia III’s news that Chief Justice Renato Corona has other accounts with PSBank not mentioned earlier as they were not part of the prosecution’s subpoena.

“Way to go, Corona,” tweeted @crowntastic, and @cholonunez said the information Garcia provided was a “Smoking Gun.”

However, @OneFineLadee said the impeachment case is weak, to which @marion_luis replied “What with all these peso accounts?”

Banal later admitted at the impeachment court that he did go to PSBank to talk to Tiongson, and explained how he came to be at the bank. He said an envelope containing the documents on Corona's alleged bank accounts was left at the gate of his house in Quezon City last January 30. He said he did not share the information with prosecutor Umali.

Banal will appear again at court on Monday, February 20, 2012.