The Ombudsman will push through with its long-delayed investigation of the bank accounts of former President Joseph Estrada and his mistresses in Allied Bank (which has since been merged with Philippine National Bank) of ultra bilyonaryo Lucio Tan.
The Supreme Court denied the petition by Allied Bank to stop the Ombudsman from laying bare the bank accounts (savings, current, time deposit, trust, and foreign currency deposits) of Estrada.
The Ombudsman probe include bank accounts under the infamous “Jose Velarde” account (which Estrada allegedly owned), Laarni Enriquez, Guia Gomez, Joy Melendrez, Peachy Osorio, Rowena Lopez, Kevin or Kelvin Garcia, and six numbered accounts (727, 737, 747, 757, 777 and 858).
In upholding the Court of Appeals 2006 decision in toto, the SC said the Ombudsman has the “authority to inquire into bank deposits of public officials and employees under investigation.”
“The Ombudsman is vested with the power to issue compulsory processes, such as subpoena and subpoena duces tecum. It also has the power to examine and have access to bank accounts and records,” the SC said.
The SC First Division resolution was promulgated on March 29 but was only released on June 28. The Ombudsman probe started three years after Estrada was booted out of office through People Power 2 in 2001.