syndicated estafa raps vs. 17 bank execs
By FLORENCE F. HIBIONADA
December 9, 2012
ILOILO CITY –
Criminal charges of Syndicated Estafa have been filed by the National
Bureau of Investigation Western Visayas Regional Office 6 (NBI WEVRO
6) against 17 bank personalities of the Rural Bank of Badiangan
The charges once upheld,
carries no bail for all of the respondents.
With an initial 37
victim-depositors, the NBI WEVRO 6 concluded its probe and established
alleged violation of Section 1, Presidential Decree (PD) 1681 in
relation to Article 315 (2) (a) of the Revised Penal Code as amended.
At stake are over P13
million in depositors’ money gone missing following the bank’s closure
in July of this year. The said amount though is expected to
significantly balloon once the rest of the accounting and pending
complaints are resolved.
To date, victim-depositors
were segregated into three groups coming from Iloilo City and the
Municipality of Januiay. Fourth group are Badiangan, Cabatuan and Sta.
In an official NBI WEVRO 6
press statement, named suspects and charged before the Provincial and
City Prosecutor’s offices are former bank manager Samuel Hortelano and
current manager Bella Buscar. Also charged are bank Vice President
Joby Arandela, bank cashier Helen Rico, bank secretary Egleserio
Rebustes and bank member of the board Josefina Arandela.
Likewise charged are
“independent directors” Nena Mana-ay and Edgar Llave, current
compliance officer Emilda Davoc, former bank secretary Herlyn Heda
Salazar, bank clerks Lenie Abordaje, Cynthia Tacanloy, Ma. Cynthia
Paula Tacanloy alias “Mar-Mar,” former compliance officer Cres Davoc,
account officer Ana Marie Balbasor, security guard Federico Abordaje
alias “Idoy” and member of the bank’s board of directors, Aileen
The victim-depositors, the
statement went, “were all enticed by Bella Buscar….to open an account
due to the high interest rates….as well as the assurance that their
deposits are insured with the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation
(PDIC). All of the complainants personally entrusted their money
intended for opening a time deposit account to Bella Buscar at her
officer in Badiangan, Iloilo or at their respective residences in
Certificates of Time Deposit
were issued and renewed upon maturity as interests supposedly earned
were personally delivered to the victim-depositors’ homes. However
when the closure happened in July, the PDIC disclosed that amount as
purportedly deposited were never recorded in the master list of
“All of the complainants
were shocked upon learning this since they were under the honest
belief that they were depositors……After the denial of their claim, the
respective amounts deposited could not be accounted anymore by Bella
Buscar and her co-principals, and is now presumed to have been
misappropriated for their own personal purpose,” the bureau’s
As such, NBI WEVRO 6 probe
established “false pretenses and fraudulent acts” by the respondent
bank workers “who by their concerted over acts, conspired and
confederated with one another.”
“We have more than 5
suspects so it is Syndicated Estafa and yes, no bail recommended,”
Regional Director Elfren Meneses Jr. said in an interview. “All of the
17 suspects are to be held equally and solidarily liable.”
The Rural Bank of Badiangan
case was handled by NBI lawyer, Investigation Agent II Arnold Diaz.
“Clearly the scheme that
became a scam did not happen overnight,” Diaz said.
Meantime, yet another new
complainant surfaced over the weekend with a similar story of having
been duped of hard-earned family savings.
Retired and having to tend
to a sick husband who has fallen ill to Cancer, the 72-year victim is
a native of Cabatuan, Iloilo. She is thus far the latest of victims
who sought NBI help.
“We lost everything, all of
our lifetime of savings from our pension that we entrusted to the bank
since 2005,” she said.