With the stonewalling performance of their “star resource person”, Atty. Salvador Diputado, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan is now considering to request the Anti Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to conduct an investigation on the alleged $81-million deposit of a top provincial official.
Board Member Abeleon Damalerio told DYRD “Inyong Alagad” on Thursday, July 21, 2016 that he will bring the feasibility of soliciting the assistance of the AMLC, the country’s financial investigative unit created by virtue of RA 9160 known as the Money Laundering Act of 2001.
The SP is contemplating to explore the possibility of seeking the assistance of the AMLC even if the scope of the agencyâ€™s functions, as provided by RA 9160, is limited to issuing orders to require and receive transaction reports from banks involving amount in excess of P4 million or an equivalent amount in foreign currency.
Diputado refused to reveal the identity of the account holder and the bank where the $81 million was deposited and evaded questions raised by the board members present.
Diputado questioned the credibility of the past president of the Bohol Bankers Association(BBA) Deo Butawan when he spoke in behalf of the association during the June 22, 2016 hearing.
But Board Member Vencenzio Arcamo informed Diputado that the president of the BBA was present when Butawan categorically debunked the existence of the dollar deposit in any bank in Bohol.
Denounced as “purely a case of irresponsible journalism”, a news item imputing that an official of the Provincial Government of Bohol has an $81-million deposit in a certain bank in Bohol” gained notoriety after the name of a priest was dragged into the incredible story.
Damalerio and Arcamo grilled Diputado on the veracity of his information but only got a reply invoking his right as a columnist to voice his opinion.
“If you don”t agree with my statements in my radio program, then don”t listen and don”t read my columns if you disagree with what I wrote”, retorted Diputado.
Stung by malicious accusations of secret bank deposits allegedly owned by a top provincial official, the committee hearing apparently accomplished nothing even as Diputado admitted that he had no personal knowledge of the information provided by his sources.
Third District Board Member Elpidio Jala, filed a manifestation on Friday, July 17, 2016 expressing deep concern over “issues that tainted the integrity of the provincial officialdom”. (Chito M. Visarra)