Friday, July 19

Philippines bank manager confessed wrongdoing, says trader



Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) branch manager Maia Santos Deguito in the alleged scheme to launder US $81 million, saying she confessed she had done something wrong by opening an account in his name and even apologised for it.

It was an account in William So Go’s name where the $81 million in questionable funds was consolidated before being transferred to casino accounts. But he has denied owning the account.

Go, appearing before the Senate blue ribbon committee hearing, narrated his February 22 meeting with Deguito, facilitated by an East West Bank manager he identified as Allan Peñalosa.

It was Peñalosa who first invited him to a meeting and even asked him if he wanted to earn “200 million”.

Peñalosa told him he could not explain it fully and then brought him to meet Deguito at Mary Grace restaurant in Serendra at Bonifacio Global City (BGC). Go said that when he met Deguito, whom he had known when she used to be a manager at an East West Bank branch at BGC, she immediately apologised to him.

“Upon seating, she told me, ‘Sir, I’m sorry. I did something wrong to you. I opened an account for you at RCBC,’” he recalled her as saying. Go was surprised and asked her why she did that when he had no transaction with her and never gave her any directive to open such an account.

She apologised again and then told him a problem had arisen because a big amount entered the account.

“I was shocked,” he said.

Deguito then narrated the scheme to him, telling him that the money came from Bangladesh and was transferred to the account that she had opened. The money then went through remittance firm Philrem Service Corp. and was converted to pesos.

He said he could not understand the whole scheme as he found it confusing, but told the RCBC manager to clear his name.

“I told her, I don’t care about that, my demand is you clear my name,” he said.

10M ‘damage’

Deguito then asked for his help, telling him he would be given “10 million”.

But he said he did not bite (the offer).

“With the trouble you caused me, whatever damage that is, it’s not worth being paid for it, even if it would be hundreds of millions,” he recalled saying then.

Go has sought an explanation from RCBC and has asked the help of the National Bureau of Investigation in looking into the bogus RCBC accounts.

He said he just wanted to clear his name, since the controversy was affecting his source of livelihood.

Even his real bank accounts were included in the freeze order, he pointed out.