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SEN. MIRIAM SANTIAGO VOTES NOT GUILTY (ACQUIT) CJ CORONA - AS EXPECTED!
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TRUE COLOR OF SEN. MIRIAM SANTIAGO!
As Sen. Teofisto Guingona III said,"How can one man use the Constitution, which mandates full public disclosure, to conceal millions of dollars in his personal bank accounts? This is constitutional perversion in its ultimate form!"
BUT NO! KAGAGUHAN LANG LAHAT DAW YAN - SEN. MIRIAM SANTIAGO.
May 30, 2012
by Perry Diaz
The much-anticipated vote on the impeachment case against Chief Justice Renato Corona finally came to pass last May 29, 2012. It was supposed to be suspenseful to the very end with either side winning by a razor-thin margin. But as it turned out it was a massacre! Twenty senator-judges voted for conviction leaving the three die-hard Coronistas-- Senators Joker Arroyo, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, and Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. — circling the wagon in a desperate attempt to defend the beleaguered Corona.
The senator-judges were called one by one, in alphabetical order, to explain their vote. Sen. Edgardo Angara was the first to speak at the podium. Up until the last minute, political pundits identified Angara as leaning to acquit Corona, although his son, Rep. Sonny Angara, was one of the prosecution spokesmen. So, when he voted "guilty," it set the tone for the day. Arroyo followed and as expected voted for acquittal. Then the siblings, Alan Peter and Pia Cayetano explained their personal reasons for their vote for conviction.
Then came Miriam, feisty as ever, who delivered a 20-minute scathing attack on just about everybody... except Corona. She even used words like "kagaguhan"— stupidity -- in belittling the prosecutors and anti-Corona senator-judges.
Sen. Franklin Drilon followed Miriam. While he was explaining his vote, Miriam walked out of the trial room in disgust. She must have realized then that the battle was over. Yep, it was time to flee the battleground and leave the otherCoronistas to fend for themselves.
By the time Bongbong stepped up to the podium, the vote was running 11 for conviction and two for acquittal. With a conviction short of only five votes and 10 senator-judges still waiting to vote, Bongbong could have voted for conviction and he would have earned a lot of political chips. Or, better, abstained from voting, which would have the same effect as voting for acquittal. However, he stood firmly by Corona to the very end. Loyalty? I don't think so. I think it was more like kinship to the issue of dollar deposit accounts.
Secrecy of dollar deposits
When the Foreign Currency Deposit Act (FCDA) or Republic Act 6426 was passed into law in April 1972, it did not have a secrecy clause. However, during the martial law dictatorship, President Ferdinand E. Marcos issued Presidential Decree No. 1246 on November 21, 1977, which amended Section 8 of RA 6426 to read as follows: "Secrecy of Foreign Currency Deposits. All foreign currency deposits authorized under this Act, as amended by Presidential Decree No. 1035, as well as foreign currency deposits authorized under Presidential Decree No. 1034, are hereby declared as and considered of an absolutely confidential nature and, except upon the written permission of the depositors, in no instance shall such foreign currency deposits be examined, inquired or looked into by any person, government official, bureau or office whether judicial or administrative or private..."
But what was Marcos' real reason when he issued P.D. 1246? Was he protecting the corrupt or — as was officially postulated — encouraging foreigners to invest in the country? That was then. But today, under the 1987 Constitution, does the "absolute confidentiality" clause allow public officials or employees not to disclose or report their dollar deposits in their Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN)?
That was the gist of Corona's defense. Claiming immunity under R.A. 6426, Corona hinged his final defense on R.A. 6426. During the last day of Corona's two-day testimony on May 22 and 25, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano asked him some clarificatory questions. When Cayetano asked Corona how much unreported dollar deposits he owns, Corona answered, "$2.4 million."
When it was Sen. Jinggoy Estrada's turn to ask clarificatory questions, he asked Corona how much unreported peso deposits he owns, Corona answered, "P80 million."
Corona insisted that R.A. 6426 supersedes R.A. 6713, which states: "Section 8.
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