MANILA, Philippines – The Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) said it had mistakenly informed the Anti-Money Laundering Council that Antonio Tiu bought $20.4 million on December 10, 2008, which was the basis of the AMLC’s move to freeze the businessman’s bank accounts, investments, and insurance policies.
The information was also the basis of the allegation that Tiu was among former vice president Jejomar Binay’s supposed “dummies” in laundering ill-gotten funds.
Tiu “had no foreign exchange transaction with RCBC Forex Brokers Corporation, in any amount, on December 10, 2008,” RCBC Forex Brokers vice president Criselda Espinosa told Tiu in a certification issued on May 25. Tiu furnished a copy of the RCBC certification.
“This certification is being issued to rectify the covered transaction report previously sent to the Anti-Money Laundering Council, on a covered transaction in the amount of $20.46 million or P990.88 million on December 10, 2008,” RCBC said in the certification.
In April this year, Tiu filed criminal charges against AMLC Executive Director Julia Bacay-Abad for tagging him as the “dummy” of Binay. (READ: Does Antonio Tiu really own ‘Hacienda Binay’?)
Tiu, who owns several agribusiness companies including Greenergy Holdings, Incorporated and AgriNurture, Incorporated, lodged a perjury complaint against Bacay-Abad before the Department of Justice “for peddling false information.”
Rappler sought Bacay-Abad’s comment on whether she would dismiss the case against Tiu, but she has yet to respond. (READ: IN PHOTOS: The ‘hacienda’ that Antonio Tiu says he owns)
Tiu ‘to seek vindication’
Tiu said he is also “considering” filing more cases against Abad. But he did not say if he will file a case against RCBC for the erroneous report.
“The certification proves that the ex parte petition for issuance of freeze order filed against me was based on false and malicious allegations, and therefore confirms that Abad’s verification of the said petition constitutes perjury,” Tiu said.
His lawyers said in a separate statement that they made repeated requests to RCBC Forex Brokers to correct the mistake for over a year.
“It was only now that the forex broker decided to issue the certification rectifying its gross error,” the lawyers said. (READ: Trillanes, media allowed to enter ‘Hacienda Binay’)
Citing the RCBC certification as proof, Tiu said AMLC’s Bacay-Abad “cannot simply use good faith as defense against the perjury charges….[Bacay-]Abad should have verified and double-checked the basis for her anti-money laundering suit before hastily relying on information that turned out to be false.”
Claiming that the damage caused by RCBC’s mistake was “irreparable,” Tiu said he “will not stop until justice is served against those who wrongly accused” him and his companies. – Chrisee Dela Paz/Rappler.com