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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Former Lawyer of ERAP, citing R.A. 1405: 'Duterte has the right to refuse'

The former lawyer of Erap Estrada in his plunder case against the Sandiganbayan in the early 2000s shared his thoughts on the hot issues regarding the disclosure of bank accounts of Mayor Duterte. Atty. Raymond Fortun give an important information and guidance from the said topics.

Former Lawyer of ERAP, citing R.A. 1405: 'Duterte has the right to refuse'

Atty. Fortun citing the Republic Act No. 1405 which stated as, "ACT PROHIBITING DISCLOSURE OF OR INQUIRY INTO, DEPOSITS WITH ANY BANKING INSTITUTION AND PROVIDING PENALTY THEREFOR."

He explained very well the rights of the Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on his bank accounts and give some thoughts about the issues.

Atty. Raymond Fortun Thoughts.

Republic Act No. 1405 is an "ACT PROHIBITING DISCLOSURE OF OR INQUIRY INTO, DEPOSITS WITH ANY BANKING INSTITUTION AND PROVIDING PENALTY THEREFOR."

The law provides that all deposits of whatever nature with banks or banking institutions in the Philippines are hereby considered as of an absolutely confidential nature and may not be examined, inquired or looked into by any person, government official, bureau or office. There are, however, exceptions to the 'secret' nature of these deposits: (1) when the depositor waives it and gives permission for such inquiry EVEN in the absence of any court case; (2) in cases of impeachment proceedings against the depositor; (3) upon order of a competent court in cases of bribery or dereliction of duty of public officials; or (4) in cases where the money deposited or invested is the subject matter of litigation.

The law also makes it unlawful for any official or employee of a banking institution to disclose to any person other than those mentioned above any information concerning said deposits.

Any violation of this law will subject the offender, upon conviction, to an imprisonment of not more than five (5) years or a fine of not more than twenty thousand pesos (Php20,000.00) or both, in the discretion of the court.

 MY THOUGHTS:

1. Mayor DU30 has the RIGHT to REFUSE access to any of his accounts, citing R.A. 1405.

2. Mayor DU30 can dispel/destroy the accusations made by Sen. Trillanes by waiving his right to secrecy and giving permission for the latter to access the account details, but NOT issuing a waiver does NOT mean that he has something to hide.

3. The documents in the possession of Sen. Trillanes, although coming from a dubious source, CAN be the basis of a court case against Mayor DU30, assuming an allegation of "dereliction of duty of public officials". Further, there can be a forfeiture of assets case filed under the premise of "unexplained wealth".

4. It is arguable that these cases against Mayor DU30 cannot prosper if he wins the presidency. It may be noted that the forfeiture case or graft case would be filed in his personal capacity and not while in the performance of his functions as President; it can be argued that he is NOT immune from suit.

5. It is doubtful that the existence of these accounts can be the basis of impeachment, since whatever monies obtained were before he became President; thus, none of the grounds for impeachment can be applicable. The grounds for impeachment are: (a) culpable violation of the Constitution; (b) treason; (c) bribery; (d) graft and corruption; (e) other high crimes; or (f) betrayal of the public trust. On the other hand, we have already had experience in a public official occupying a Constitutional position to be impeached due to failure to disclose the correct information in his SALN. (N.B. That "conviction" was obtained after the judges were 'offered incentives', but that's a different story)

For everyone's information and guidance. PLEASE SHARE.





What do you think on Atty. Fortun's statements? You may use the comment box below to share your thoughts about the story.

Reference Source(s): Link
Image From: facebook/raymond.fortun - See more at: http://www.goodfilipino.com/2016/05/atty-raymond-fortun-says-duterte-has-the-right-to-refuse-access-to-any-of-his-accounts.html#sthash.6uMs5iEc.dpuf

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