MANILA, Philippines – A notary public on Tuesday, April 19, denied signing the affidavit of the messenger of PhilRem Service Corporation, which the owners of the money transfer firm had presented as evidence at the last Senate hearing on the Bangladesh Bank fund heist.
PhilRem messenger Mark Raymond Palmares was summoned to the resumption of the Senate inquiry on the money laundering case on Tuesday. (READ: Senate blue ribbon chair to PhilRem chief: ‘You’re hiding something’)
“I went to Pasig City Hall to have my affidavit notarized by Atty [Renato] De Jesus. I took an oath before Atty De Jesus,” Palmares told the Senate blue ribbon committee in Filipino.
But De Jesus alleged that Palmares was lying. (READ: BIR investigates PhilRem for possible tax evasion)
“I never saw him, not even once. I’m willing to submit other documents to prove that the signature on Mark Palmares’ affidavit is not mine,” De Jesus said in Filipino.
Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile did not believe De Jesus’ story.
“Even members of the SC (Supreme Court) won’t be able to provide the details like the attorney’s number. That’s your means of living, then you’ll tell us you don’t know? You think we’re stupid?” Enrile told De Jesus.
Palmares was reportedly with PhilRem president Salud Bautista when she delivered funds to casino junket operator Weikang Xu at the Solaire Resort and Casino in Parañaque City.
According to Bautista, PhilRem transferred P600 million and $18 million in 6 tranches to Xu from February 5 to February 13.
Residing in Bautista’s Greenhills mansion
Meanwhile, Senator Teofisto “TG” Guingona III questioned pictures of a large house that lawmakers found through Google Earth located at the supposed address of Palmares. (READ: TIMELINE: Tracing the $81-million stolen fund from Bangladesh Bank)
“When we searched 392 Columbia Street [in Greenhills, San Juan] on Google Earth, it appeared that the house is huge. Do you live here?” the Senate blue ribbon committe chair asked PhilRem’s messenger.
Palmares confirmed this, saying he was “staying in” the home of the PhilRem president’s father in Greenhills.
Palmares added that Ronilo Palmares, his uncle and driver of the Bautistas, also lived at 392 Columbia Street. (READ: 6 things we know about RCBC money-laundering scam)
The money transfer messenger said he was accompanied by his uncle in delivering funds to Xu at Solaire.
“I picked it up from our Makati office, and delivered it to Solaire. I met Salud Bautista at Solaire’s VIP room. It was my first time to enter that room,” Palmares told the Senate in Filipino.
He added that the cash was placed in one big luggage, one traveling bag, and one shoulder bag. His uncle helped him carry the bags. (READ: How Bangladesh Bank dirty money easily got into PH)
In his 7 years working for PhilRem, Palmares said deliveries related to the $81-million stolen funds from Bangladesh Bank’s account is the largest transaction he has done, so far. – Rappler.com
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