In response to issues raised at the impeachment hearing at the Senate today, 20 February, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas declared the following:
- BSP examiners did not access the deposit account records which include the signature cards of Chief Justice Renato Corona. They never requested to see the deposit account records of the Chief Justice nor were they presented the deposit account records of the Chief Justice. BSP examiners therefore could NOT have copied nor secured copies of such deposit account records including the signature cards of Chief Justice Renato Corona.
- In the course of the BSP’s regular examination of PSBank between October 21, 2010 and December 6, 2010 (long before the impeachment trial), the PSBank’s Compliance Officer at the time, Grace de la Cruz, disclosed to BSP Examiner Jerry Leal (a member of the Anti-Money Laundering Specialist Group of the BSP’s Supervision and Examination Sector) that the Chief Justice won P1 million in the PSBank’s raffle for its valued account holders. Having noted that the Chief Justice is PSBank’s client, Examiner Jerry Leal verified PSBank’s policy on politically exposed persons or PEP. Under BSP regulations, a bank is required to have such a policy in place. Maintaining a PEP list is a standard element of an effective anti-money laundering compliance program in accordance with international best practices. Examiner Jerry Leal then requested for PSBank’s PEP list.
On examining PSBank’s PEP list, Examiner Jerry Leal saw that the Chief Justice was not tagged as a PEP. In addition, by comparing the PSBank’s PEP list with its covered transaction reports (CTR) submitted to the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), Examiner Leal noted a few other names likewise not tagged as PEP.
As a result, the Report of Examination (ROE) carried the finding that PSBank’s PEP list is not comprehensive. PSBank was therefore directed to improve its tagging of PEPs to strengthen its compliance with the AMLA, as amended.
We emphasize that discussion between BSP Examiner Jerry Leal and the PSBank Compliance Officer concerning the Chief Justice was limited to the extent of validating PSBank’s compliance with PEP tagging.