By Artemio V. Panganiban
Acting on the motion of PSBank, the Supreme Court dismissed the bank’s petition to stop the Senate from opening the dollar deposits of then Chief Justice Renato C. Corona on the ground that the case had become moot and academic. The impeachment trial has long been terminated and the Court’s adjudication of this case is no longer relevant or material to the impeachment proceedings.
By Juan L. Mercado
Did Chief Justice Renato Corona “hoist himself on his own petard” by having the unflappable Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales subpoenaed? Hamlet spoke of the “petard”—a 2- to 3-kilogram bomb—in Shakespeare’s 1599 play. Being hoisted on one’s own petard meant blowing oneself up. Today’s version is shooting yourself in the foot.
A closer scrutiny of Republic Act 6426 would reveal that not all dollar accounts in a bank are covered by its secrecy provision as found in Section 8 thereof—“Secrecy Of Foreign Currency Deposits.” Note, that this secrecy provision only mentions “Deposits.” Hence, in applying the legal maxim “Expressio unius est exclusion alterius (the express mention of one person, thing or consequence implies the exclusion of all others), other bank accounts that are not in the nature of deposits are deemed excluded from the protection of this particular provision.
A case of winning the battle, but losing the war? We can’t be certain until after the impeachment trial is over, but at this point, it looks like Chief Justice Renato Corona has notched a hollow victory with the Supreme Court’s issuance of a temporary restraining order against the disclosure of any details of his dollar accounts with Philippine Savings Bank.