Depositors, officials lose millions in PNB scam

>> Monday, September 26, 2016

Central Bank urged: Probe, return money 

By Mar T. Supnad 

CANDON CITY, Ilocos Sur- Depositors here urged the Central Bank to probe and make the Philippine National Bank branch here return their millions of missing cash they deposited in the commercial bank in what they described as "the biggest bank scam" in history of the region.
Nearby San Esteban town depositors, sought assistance of media inside the office of their town Mayor Ray Elaydo Wednesday to air their grievances and have the matter publicized to get attention of Central Bank nd help them recover their money they deposited in PNB Candon branch.
"We are now readying the filing of criminal charges against the PNB and its cashier to be filed in a court and a complaint to be lodged before the Central Bank so my constituents can hopefully recover their hard-earned money worth tens of millions of pesos," said Elaydo.
One of the depositors identified as Corazon Imperial of Barangay San Rafael in San Esteban  but is working abroad  lost close to P1.5 million deposited in PNB while Joan Bangayan,  Olympia Elaydo, 92, Marivic Meran, Jonalyn Elaydo, a provincial board member, vice mayor and others also lost their millions of pesos deposit in the bank, Elaydo added.
The board member and the vice mayor requested anonymity, saying it was embarrassing.
A caretaker of a bank passbook Diolita Augusto said in tears that she came to know that the deposit of her aunt Corazon Imperial totaling P1.5 million in time deposit was lost when she tried to withdraw last June 11. "Only P90,000 was retained in the account but the bank listed on our passbook that we still have P1.5 million," said Augusto.
Elaydo said despite the depositors' demand, the PNB management continued to give them only promises and assurances without cash.
The mayor said that a total of 33 passbooks owned by 30 of his constituents were scammed amounting to P30,000,000 in cash deposit.
"The victims were only in my town and I don't know if there are also others victimized in other towns," said Elaydo.
According to the depositors, the modus operandi of the bank teller identified as Ada Cabalu Reyes, a native of San Esteban, is that when they make cash deposit in PNB the teller (Reyes) posted the amount on their passbook to make it appear that it was credited on their account but not allegedly putting the amount in the bank's vault or computer's records.
"Sometimes, teller Reyes will receive the money and instruct the depositors to just come back and get their passbooks. The amount deposited appeared on the passbook but the teller did not enter the money into the bank's record; this is the modus operandi of the teller," said Elaydo who had also several relatives victimized by the bank's scam.
After the bank management learned of the scam, the bank manager identified as Elvie Acanse was reportedly fired and replaced by Albert Rean, as OIC manager.
Rean admitted the existence of the problem, and loss of cash deposits triggering a reshuffle of personnel but said Reyes had been charged by the bank before a local court.
Reyes has been missing and nowhere to be found, said Elaydo and Rean.
Rean said that he cannot give much information due to the sensitivity of the matter, saying higher officials of PNB can answer properly questions of this writer.
The visibly-irked depositors said they were not interested by the bank filing cases against Reyes but said they wanted their money returned immediately.
Depositors said the manager told them not to reveal the scam to media and were assured several times since June that deposit will be given to them the coming days provided they kept silent but up to now, nothing happened, only promises.

This writer tried to get the side of bank area manager Christine Marie Rillera based in Vigan City but she refused to explain.


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