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Pinoys ‘get fooled so handily’

01:25 AM March 29, 2016

AFTER LISTENING to the March 15 hearing of the Senate blue ribbon committee investigating the biggest money-laundering scandal that hit our shores, I wondered what gall the branch manager of Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC), Maia Deguito, had in opening a fictitious account in her branch for a former client, William Go, who categorically denied having done so. That particular account was allegedly used to channel $22.73 million of the stolen money (“Where’s CCTV footage in RCBC branch?” Front Page, 3/15/16). Go’s only RCBC account is with another branch under his company’s name.

When asked about the particulars of that account, Deguito invoked the secrecy laws and regulations governing bank deposits. She insisted a written waiver was necessary to open any inquiry into that account. It was then proposed that since Go had nothing to do with that account, he should execute such waiver to end speculations once and for all. Go, surprisingly, declined, repeating that since he had nothing to do with that account, it seemed like a ridiculous suggestion.  That blatherskite raised a huge red flag for some of us who are keenly following this story!

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Here’s the real deal: If he really never opened that RCBC Jupiter, Makati branch account, Go could have easily signed something to the effect that he is “waiving the benefit of all secrecy laws relating to any and all RCBC bank accounts purportedly in my name, except as to the account under my company’s name” in that other RCBC branch. How hard could that be? Does one have to be a lawyer to see how that works? Unfortunately, the Senate committee left it at that—a blank wall, as Go made it clear he was not signing anything. What was he afraid of?

It reminds us of what the heirs of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos said when asked about their alleged hidden Swiss accounts. Despite denying the existence of such accounts, they hired expensive international lawyers to stop our government from asking questions about those accounts! Seriously, what is it about the Filipino psyche that gets many of us fooled so handily?

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OPINION

—GABRIELLE MICHELLE M. AGUILLERA, [email protected]

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TAGS: Deguito, letter, Maia Deguito, money laundering, opinion, RCBC
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