Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 42 Judge Dinnah Aguila-Topacio found guilty businessman Jose Go, the former president of Orient Bank, and Aida dela Rosa, bank’s former senior vice-president, of seven counts of estafa through falsification of commercial documents.
Go and Dela Rosa were sentenced to imprisonment of a minimum of four years and two months to a maximum of 19 years for each count, or a total of 29 years and two months to 133 years.
Judge Aguila-Topacio also issued a hold departure order (HDO) against Go and dela Rosa on December 12, 2020.
Judge Aguila-Topacio handed down the decision in November 2020 but this was released to media by the Philippine Deposit Insurance Co. in a 1 July 2021 statement.
The seven estafa cases were part of investigations involving P4.95 billion funds that were funneled into Go’s accounts through various means from July 1996 to December 1997.
In the RTC decision, Go and dela Rosa made it appear that Orient Bank granted loans to seven entities that did not apply nor receive the proceeds of the supposed loans.
Go and dela Rosa encashed the manager’s and cashier’s checks in the names of the alleged borrowers and deposited the P159 million into the accounts of the businessman and his related companies.
The Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) ordered the closure of Orient Bank on 14 October 1998.
As the bank’s receiver, the PDIC is mandated to enforce the liabilities of bank officials, employees, agents collect collect, recover, and preserve all assets of closed banks including assets over which the closed bank has equitable interest.
PDIC said the filing of cases against Go was part of its efforts to bring to justice bank officials and personnel who engage in unsafe or unsound banking practices that undrmine stability of the country’s banking system.