Lawyer Ferdinand Topacio should realize that his client, RCBC Jupiter Branch manager Maia Deguito, had already admitted in a radio interview that she only “assumed” Mr. Lorenzo Tan knew about the $81-million transaction at Ms. Deguito’s branch that is now being investigated by anti-money laundering authorities and that she is not accusing Mr. Tan. This directly contradicts her previous position that Mr. Tan, RCBC president, “knew.”
So instead of asking RCBC to sanction Mr. Tan, Topacio should instead assist his client to explain the accusation of Mr. William Go that she opened an account in her branch without his knowledge, used this account for deposit and withdrawal without his knowledge, and identify who forged Mr. Go’s signature to withdraw money, Tan’s legal counsel Francis Lim said.
He should also busy himself explaining why she attempted to fly to Japan last Friday which has been perceived as flight and therefore an implied admission of guilt, Lim said.
Deguito was invited by the Senate to appear at a public hearing next week after authorities in Bangladesh, the US and the Philippines were informed that Chinese hackers stole $100 million placed by the Bangladesh central bank in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Some of these funds had been traced to Philippine banks and casinos, authorities said.
For his part, Tan offered to go on leave pending investigation on the alleged money laundering involving the RCBC Jupiter branch and its branch manager but the bank’s board instead thanked him for his gentlemanly and decent gesture, saying their trust in him remains “intact and unshaken.”