Palace says not using Ombudsman vs Corona

Posted at 05/17/12 6:54 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang on Thursday denied allegations it is using the Office of the Ombudsman to harass Chief Justice Corona and perceived enemies of the Aquino administration.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales has displayed impartiality in her decisions.

"Definitely, hindi po natin ginagamit po si Ombudsman Carpio-Morales para mang-harass. Kung natatandaan po niyo, may iilang mga kaso na po laban kay Ginang Arroyo na kanyang idinismis. Either dinismis po or binaba po 'yung sampa ng kaso laban sa kanya. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I remember there were several cases that she dismissed. So she has shown her independence and we commend for her independence," he said.

Lacierda also believes that the Anti-Money Laundering Council's (AMLC) documents on Corona's alleged dollar accounts are authentic because these came from banks themselves.

He said it is the duty of the banks to report suspicious bank transactions to the AMLC.

"Ang documents na galing sa AMLC are presumed to be regular because hindi naman sila ang unang source e. Ang source po ng mga dokumento na galing po sa AMLC ay galing po sa mga financial institutions. Sa bangko po galing 'yun eh. That's why you are able to determine, for instance, the account number, the transaction date, the name of the bank," he explained.

 "The banking institutions are supposed to report to the Anti-Money Laundering Council transactions above P500,000. That's called a covered transaction. If you are a depositor who does not have a regular deposit of P500,000 and suddenly meron kang malaking amount, fina-flag 'yan as what they call as a suspicious transaction. As public official, we know how much we earn," Lacierda added. - with a report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News; ANC