Central Bank willing to investigate $81M

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Central Bank willing to investigate $81M

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The country’s sole authority to issue currency is willing to investigate  an allegation like the sensationalized $81 million local bank deposit of an unnamed Bohol official.

The alleged deposit was, however, already earlier found out by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to be both just a “rumor” and a “hearsay.”

A group of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) officials led by Cebu Regional Office Director Leonides Sumba told the Bohol media they are willing even just to assist in a formal inquiry on like cases.

This is notwithstanding the outcome which may only conclude an accusation or a complaint to be false or baseless.

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Such a claim that someone allegedly owns a local bank deposit of so immense an amount, $81 million or over P4 billion, is worth looking into, according to the BSP officials.

But the BSP will also consider if a complaint is not fabricated.

They said they are even “alarmed” when a singular account reaches just half a million pesos (P.5 million) or P500,000.

While it has the sole power to issue currency in the Philippines, the BSP is also the “supervisor of all banks” and “banker of banks” in the country.

Repeatedly published and broadcast by local mediaman and lawyer Salvador Diputado, the $81 million “tsimis” had also put to suspect the local banking sector’s integrity and credibility.

But the Bohol media told the BSP officials that the banking industry in Bohol asserted that no local bank has such an incredibly huge deposit by a single person or even a corporate entity.

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NBI CLOSURE REPORT

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In its four-page investigation “closure report,” the NBI-Bohol dismissed the allegation as “without basis in fact and in law” and considered it to be, therefore, a “mere rumor.”

On the “culpability of the media source of all these unfounded allegations,” the NBI recommended the filing of a “libel” case “if warranted by evidence.”

The report was submitted by lawyer Arcelito Albao, NBI-Bohol supervising agent, to lawyer Rennan Augustus Oliva, NBI-Bohol agent-in-charge, and furnished to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP).  

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The SP presiding officer, Vice Gov. Dionisio Balite, and his son, Board Member Victor Dionisio Balite, are father-in-law and brother-in-law, respectively, of the rumor origin and peddler, Diputado.

The NBI investigated the wild accusation when it received by a fake e-mail a false complaint pertaining to the same $81 million deposit, which was alleged to be supposedly intended for the victims of super typhoon Yolanda.

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The tremendous amount of money was allegedly from the United States government.

But the same wild complaint alleged that the amount was “hacked from a Bangladesh account in the US.”

Investigators believed the unknown complainant using a bogus e-mail account would just want the Bohol $81 million issue “blown up” to destroy reputations.

This was because the complaint equated the huge money to the $81 million laundered to the Philippines from a Bangladesh bank which was investigated by the Senate.

The NBI said complaint sender himself “made an incredible and unconceivable conflicting statement as to whether this $81 million was a hacked Bangladesh U.S. account or a U.S. donation for Yolanda victims.”

“Assuming that it was a hacked Bangladesh account, then the public official in Bohol has nothing to do with this issue since the Senate made already its inquiry and it did not involve any public official and bank in Bohol,” the NBI said.    

If the money was for the Yolanda victims, “again the public officials in Bohol have nothing to do with this case since Leyte or Eastern Visayas was the center of the calamity, hence, donations to Bohol government would be illogical,” the NBI added.

The investigation bureau also said that when investigated, Diputado had “no any evidences, witnesses or documents to show proof against anyone” because “everything he gathered was just hearsay.”

Further, the NBI cited the testimony of a priest during the separate SP inquiry who vehemently denied having ever seen a passbook of a Bohol official supposedly containing the $81 million account.

Diputado dragged a priest to his “tsismis” and also the sister of the church man as having likewise allegedly saw the passbook.

The priest’s sister turned out to have long died years ago.

GOSSIP

The NBI said Diputado also “gave the name of a sister of an official in Bohol whom he said might provide information about the case.”

The woman, who asked not to be named in the NBI report, told investigators that the $81 million tale was a “gossip” and had no factual basis.

In a duly-approved resolution introduced by SP Floor Leader Venzencio Arcamo, the Provincial Board of Bohol declared Diputado a “persona non grata.”

The copy of the resolution was attested and approved by Board Member Tomas Abapo, Jr., who belongs to the political camp of Diputado’s in-laws but enjoying full respect from his SP peers.

Abapo acted as presiding officer of the SP when the declaration was presented, carried and approved by the capitol legislature, which is the province’s highest policy-making body.

Like Diputado, Abapo and Arcamo are both lawyers. (Ven rebo Arigo)

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