Celebrity talent manager Annabelle Rama is seeking the dismissal of two complaints filed against her by a cousin over the issuance of a bouncing check worth P1.5 million.
In her counter-affidavit, Annabelle said she never borrowed money from her cousin Jose Vicente Rama del Prado Jr. and that the case was “nothing but a vendetta suit” because she exposed her cousin’s “betrayal” during the May elections, where she ran for congress but lost.
Annabelle said her cousin was the one who convinced her to issue the P1.5 million check as a “show check” to impress a potential investor in an apartelle business he wanted to put up in Bohol. He was supposed to return the check to her after two weeks.
Del Prado last June filed complaints against Annabelle for estafa and violation of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 or the Anti-Bouncing Check Law before the Cebu City Prosecutors’ Office.
According to Annabelle, the estafa case was filed to “cover up” del Prado’s act of “rediscounting my checks which I issued to him as payment for the bags and shoes I bought from him but I previously paid with cash and the P1.5 million BDO check”.
She said she filed a criminal complaint for estafa against her cousin in Quezon city for this transaction.
Annabelle said she had “lots of checks with him (as I bought shoes and bags from him) which are all paid with cash” but had a high level of trust in her cousin and “believed that he would return (the checks) to me soon.”
She said she had hopes to run again for public office and would not risk tarnishing her name.
“Although I was not fortunate to serve my fellow Cebuanos in Congress last election, I manifested my intention to try my luck again in the next election. Thus, my reputation and financial credibility are important to me. Therefore, I would not allow any of my checks to bounce unless I have valid reasons to do it,” Anabelle said.
She also denied having received any cash amounting to P1.5 million from Del Prado as stated in his complaint.
“This is incredible. No one does business by handing P1.5 million in cash. I challenge the complainant to show any document proving that I received said amount from him,” Anabelle said.
She said her cousin had no employment or legitimate business so “Where can he possibly get this amount which he allegedly lent me?” She dared del Prado to show the source of his funds or an income tax return.
Anabelle said she felt betrayed by Del Prado and that the case was intended to expose her to public ridicule.
“I treated him not merely as a close relative but more of a best friend. All our relatives and other people close to us could attest how I could not say no whenever he would ask any favor/help from me,” she said.
Annabelle said she issued the P1.5 million check dated Jan. 27, 2013 at her cousin’s request to help him out because Del Prado wanted to convince a potential investor to finance his plan to build apartelles in Bohol.
Annabelle said she was even promised by her cousin 5 percent of the income generated by the business if it takes off.
“He degraded me by making it appear that I was short of money for the elections and that’s why I borrowed money from him,” she stated.
“I never asked money from (del Prado) ever. During the election he did not contribute a single cent to my campaign. I did not also ask him because with all the contributions from my children and close friends, my money is more than enough to fund my campaign.”
Annabelle repeated her lament that del Prado betrayed her during last May’s election.
“Thus I cannot be blamed if I was deeply hurt and became vocal about it when I learned that he sold me out for his uncle in the election,” she said.
Del Prado, in his complaint, said he filed the complaint after he got upset reading the news in a local Cebuano daily that Annabelle had accused him of “selling out” to her election opponent, Raul del Mar, who is an uncle. Del Mar was elected to a new term as Cebu city north district representative.
Del Prado said he tried to encash Annabelle’s check for P1.5 million but found the account was “closed” when the check was presented to the bank.