CDO fiscals clear bank employees transporting millions of cash
The panel of prosecutors from Cagayan De Oro has dismissed the rebellion case filed against three employees of the United Coconut Planters Bank branch in the city and their three security escorts caught transporting about P32.8 million in cash on board a ship in Cagayan de Oro port bound for Cebu last Sunday.
Four of them were earlier invited by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) for questioning. They were supposed to go on board a Trans Asia Ship bound for Cebu when accosted.
They were carrying boxes which they claimed to contain documents. Authorities were alerted after they refused to have the boxes undergo x-ray by authorities.
Their arrest came following an intelligence information from the Military Intelligence Battalion that an undetermined amount of money would be transported out of the conflict area for safekeeping purportedly to be used to buy more ammunition.
The bank submitted an affidavit to the PCG attesting that the transporting of boxes of cash was duly approved by the bank’s regional head.
The affidavit claimed that the money represented excess cash as provided in the Cash Holding Limit. It added that it was being transferred to UCPB Cash Center in Cebu because the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas did not accept such excess cash for deposit.
“As culled from the facts and evidence on hand, this Office is predisposed to rule in favor of the respondents,” the panel of prosecutors said in their resolution released Thursday.
“The accusation of the complainants that the respondents, in their attempt to transport huge amount of cash and concealing the same to the authorities, are probably guilty of the commission of an act in furtherance of the crime of rebellion, is not supported by competent evidence other than the Intelligence Report which to the mind of the prosecutors remains insufficient to warrant probable cause against the particular respondents,” the resolution stated.
The prosecutors said there might have been lapses in the handling of cash, (but) it was not enough to conclude that the five individuals should be prosecuted for rebellion.
The panel of prosecutors said the authorities could still build a case against the respondents if they had committed other infractions.
But the DOJ said the bank employees will be released from detention. JPV/rga
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