MANILA, Philippines – The Sandiganbayan found a former official of the state-owned Philippine Postal Savings Bank, now known as Overseas Filipino Bank, guilty of graft for giving undue preference to two depositors.
The anti-graft court’s 2nd Division on Friday, January 20, sentenced Rosemarie Villamora, the bank’s former vice president, South Luzon area head, and Naga City branch head, to six years and one month to eight years in prison.
Villamora was also ordered to pay P39.05 million, equivalent to the “excessive” interest that depositors Noel Antonio and Daughters of Mary “unjustly” earned from 2013 to 2017.
She was perpetually barred from holding public office as well.
In a notarized sworn statement dated October 25, 2017, and signed by Villamora herself, she admitted offering depositors an interest rate of 3% per month or 36% per annum if they invested in the bank’s Premium Savings Plan. The regular interest rate was only 0.25% per annum.
In her testimony during the trial, Villamora then claimed she was only coerced into signing the sworn statement.
But the Sandiganbayan said that based on Villamora’s track record, including her “vast experience in banking operations,” she could not have been pressured into “doing something against her will.”
“Considering that the sworn statement is a notarized document, it is presumed valid, regular, and genuine,” added the court.
Associate Justice Arthur Malabaguio penned the ruling, with the concurrence of Associate Justice Oscar Herrera Jr. and Associate Justice Edgardo Caldona. – Rappler.com