DOJ gives Deguito till May 3 to file answer
THE DEPARTMENT of Justice (DOJ) gave former Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) branch manager Maia Santos-Deguito until May 3 to submit her counteraffidavit during the preliminary investigation Tuesday of the money-laundering case against her.
Deguito and her counsel, Ferdinand Topacio, appeared before state prosecutor Gilmarie Fe Pacamara at 10:20 a.m. Topacio asked for more time to submit Deguito’s affidavit.
“We will respond in the right time. The case is complicated now. We will respond to the accusation, but we’re wondering why the investigation is going piecemeal. Why only her? Where are the other officials of the RCBC who are also being tagged in the money-laundering?” Topacio told reporters in an interview.
Pacamara also issued subpoenas to Michael Francisco Cruz, Jessie Christopher Lagrosas, Alfred Santos Vergara and Enrico Teodoro Vasquez, the persons who allegedly opened bank accounts at RCBC on May 15 last year based on identity documents that were later verified to be fictitious.
The four or their counsels did not appear at the DOJ.
The complaint against Deguito was filed by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC). Deguito and Topacio were also sued for libel and civil damages by RCBC president Lorenzo Tan for claiming that Tan was the mastermind of the heist.
Casino junket operator Kim Wong is scheduled to appear at the DOJ on April 19 to submit his counteraffidavit regarding the separate money-laundering case filed against him by the AMLC.
Chinese national Wiekang Xu, whom Wong claimed was the one who took most of the stolen money, was also charged by the AMLC and is being required by the DOJ to submit his counteraffidavit.
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