RCBC branch manager invokes right vs self-incrimination at Senate probe
The branch manager of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC), who is at the center of the $81-million money laundering controversy, repeatedly invoked her right against self-incrimination, when she faced at a Senate investigation on Tuesday.
Maia Santos-Deguito, manager of RCBC branch on Jupiter Street in Makati City, first invoked this right when Senator Teoifisto Guingona III, chairman of the Senate blue ribbon committee, asked about the remittances made to her branch under the accounts of four individuals — Michael Francisco Cruz, Jessie Christopher Lagrosas, Alfred Santos Vergara and Enrico Teodoro Vasquez.
Guingona, in particular, asked Deguito if she did not find suspicious the opening of the four accounts on May 15, 2015 that remained dormant until February 5 this year when multi-million US dollars were suddenly transmitted to the accounts.
“Sir sorry but I’d like to invoke my right (against) self-incrimination and I’ll answer that in an executive session,” Deguito said.
“You will answer that in an executive session. When they opened the account, these four holders—you signed the account-opening forms, am I correct?” Guingona went on.
“Sir, I will use the same request po,” Deguitos said, referring to her request for an executive session.
But Guingona protested, saying he was just asking if the branch manager signed the opening forms of the bank accounts.
“No, lawyers, counsels are not allowed to speak, counsels can only give advice,” the senator reminded the branch manager, who was then consulting her lawyer who was also with her at the hearing.
He then proceeded questioning Deguito, this time, whether or not she observed due diligence in accordance with the know-your-customer rule when the said accounts were opened.
“Based on yesterday news that AMLC (Anti-Money Laundering Council) has filed a case against me already, I’m sorry but I’d just answer that in an executive hearing,” Deguito again said. CDG
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