RCBC to appeal: Yuchengco-owned bank calls Makati court’s dismissal of P100M defamation suit vs Bangladesh Bank ‘irregular’

Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) will appeal a Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) decision to junk its P100 million defamation suit filed against Bangladesh Bank.

“The bank has already filed a motion for reconsideration to question the irregular decision. The order is not yet final and we are prepared to pursue the same before the appeals court as necessary,” said RCBC in a statement.

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In an order promulgated last June 30, Judge Rainald C. Paggao of the Makati RTC Branch 142 dismissed RCBC’s suit and granted a motion for reconsideration filed by Bangladesh Bank, last October 28.

“The foregoing discussions inescapably lead to the conclusion that this court has no jurisdiction over the person of the defendant (Bangladesh Bank) , nor will it ever have within the limits of the provisions of the present rules as regards summons and the service thereof” the court said.

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RCBC filed a case against Bangladesh Bank to stop it from vilifying and harassing the bank since the $81 million cyber heist in 2016. Bangladesh Bank claimed the heist was perpetrated by North Korean hackers who sent multiple remittance orders from its account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The funds were allegedly remitted to accounts in RCBC.

RCBC had previously won a lawsuit in the Federal Court of New York filed by Bangladesh Bank which sought compensation for the heist.

RCBC questioned the court’s turnaround on its earlier orders dated July 19,2019 and October 18,2020 which favored the Yuchengco-owned bank.

“Despite its earlier orders declaring that it has jurisdiction, the court decided to dismiss the case on the ground that it has not acquired personal jurisdiction over Bangladesh Bank, a complete departure from its earlier pronouncements,” said RCBC.

The court said “plaintiff’s (RCBC) notion that extraterritorial service of summons may be undertaken against Bangladesh Bank has no legal leg (to)stand on.”

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