2 courts convict rural bank execs over fraudulent transactions

MANILA, Philippines – Two courts convicted rural banks in Iloilo and Antique in separate violations of  Republic Act No. 8791 or the General Banking Law of 2000 due to fraudulent transactions.

In separate statements on Tuesday, December 31, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas announced that 3 officers of the shuttered Rural Bank of Badiangan Incorporated (RBBI) were convicted for 20 counts of violation of RA 8791 due to fraudulent transactions.

In a decision dated September 18, the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo sentenced ex-bank chairman Bella Buscar, ex-loan clerk Cynthia Taconloy, and ex-savings clerk Leni Abordaje to imprisonment of two to 4 years for each count. 

In 2012, the Monetary Board placed RBBI under receivership of the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation. In December that year, the National Bureau of Investigation Western Visayas filed a criminal complaint of syndicated estafa to a total of 17 bank personalities.

It was later learned that high interest rates were being offered by RBBI to entice the public to make deposits.

In 2016, BSP filed a criminal complaint against the said 3 RBBI officers for defrauding clients by soliciting deposits but said transactions were omitted from the bank's books.

Fake loans

BSP on Tuesday also said that 3 officers of Rural Bank of Sebaste in Antique were found to have violated RA 8791.

In a decision dated July 9, the Regional Trial Court of Culasi in Antique found former RBS chairman and president Eugene Estrella guilty on 8 counts of violation of RA 8791 and sentenced him to two years of imprisonment for each count.

The Municipal Trial Court of Kalibo in Aklan had also convicted Estrella for 7 counts of falsification of public documents, as well as the bank's former chairman Luis Estrella Sr (4 counts) and former director Luis Estrella Jr (two counts).

The Kalibo court sentenced the 3 Antique bank officers to a minimum imprisonment of 6 months to one day to a maximum of 2 years, 4 months, and 1 day. They were ordered to pay a fine of P1,000 for each count.

In March 2007, BSP Office of Special Investigations filed a criminal complaint against the rural bank's officers after finding out that the 3 officers participated in the creation of fake loans to appear that the bank was in a stable financial situation.

BSP found that the bank was incurring huge operational losses and had insufficient assets to meet its liabilities. The Monetary Board had placed the Rural Bank of Sebaste under receivership of the PDIC in August 2007. – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler. Before writing about politicians, she covered budget, labor, and transportation issues.