They’re still all wrong!

They’re still all wrong!


Senator-Juror Miriam Defensor Santiago


By BERTENI “TOTO” CATALUÑA CAUSING

Editor-in-chief, Dyaryo Magdalo



         In addition to my arguments in an earlier blog that Presidential Decree 1246, the law that last amended Republic Act 6426, clearly does not protect foreign currency deposits when the depositors are not “non-residents” or not engaged in “trade or business in the Philippines,” here are the other reasons why impeachment cases are   exempt from the secrecy law over foreign-currency deposits.



         This earlier blog can be read at this link: http://totocausing.blogspot.com/2012/02/theyre-wrong.html.



         The 1987 Constitution, under Section 17 of Article XI, clearly commands all officials, without exception, shall file a declaration under oath his ASSETS, LIABILITIES and NET WORTH.



         The constitution is the HIGHEST LAW of the land.  Its command cannot be bent or repelled by any law made by the Congress or rules promulgated by the Supreme Court or any other office.



         As such, the command of the Constitution is an exemption to the bank secrecy law covering the dollars or any other foreign currency deposits. So that in the implementation of this constitutional provision through an impeachment trial, that impeachment case constitutes as an exemption to the bank secrecy law over the dollars or foreign currencies deposits.



         The command of the Constitution is that a public officer or employee (even casuals) shall declare under oath his assets, liabilities and net worth.  By the way, net worth is the difference of ASSETS minus LIABILITIES.



         So that if this is the command of the Constitution, then it is the obligation of all public employees to be truthful in stating under oath the list of all their assets.



If there is any violation thereof, including failure to disclose all bank cash assets or “inaccuracies”, and that particular officer is being tried by the Impeachment Court, there are two possibilities.



If it is not established that there exist particular bank dollar accounts, then it is logical that the same bank accounts cannot be compelled to be opened.



But if it is established that there exists those bank dollar accounts and it is also established that the concerned public official did not declare under oath any dollar assets in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN), then Section 17 of Article XI of the 1987 Constitution operates to allow the Impeachment Court to subpoena those records of dollar assets in banks.



Then, we know that there is a law that compels all public officials to submit SALN, which must be easy to be understood to mean that all government employees are required to state under oath all assets—must be all.   This law is Republic Act 6713 or the code of ethics for government employees.



RA 6713 was passed into a law in a much later time than RA 6426.  Hence, if the implementation of RA 6713 runs in conflict with RA 6426 on particular cases, then RA 6713 constitutes as an exemption to RA 6426.



By the same justifications given above with respect to Section 17 of Article XI of the 1987 Constitution, RA 6713 has the same effect.



If it is established that there are bank accounts in dollars and it is also established that there are no dollar assets that were included in the SALN, then RA 6713 operates to constitute as an exemption to the secrecy law on foreign currency deposits if that is the issue in an impeachment trial.

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