COURTS convict former officers of closed rural bank

The Regional Trial Court of Balanga City (RTC-Balanga) and the Municipal Circuit Trial Court-Orani-Samal (MCTC-Orani-Samal) in Bataan convicted former officers of the now-closed Orani Rural Bank (Bataan), Inc. (Orani RB) for violating Republic Act (RA) No. 8791 (The General Banking Law of 2000), RA No. 7353 (The Rural Banks Act of 1992), and the Revised Penal Code (RPC).

The courts convicted Tomas Antonio A. Ortiguera, former Chief Operating Officer, and Democrito M. Dominguez, Jr., former Compliance Officer, of Orani RB for their participation in the creation of 10 fictitious loans amounting to Php6,928,000.00.

They were able to facilitate these spurious loans by falsifying the loan and related documents of the alleged borrowers, which were discovered by the BSP during an investigation of Orani RB’s loan transactions after its closure.

RTC-Balanga found both accused Ortiguera and Dominguez guilty beyond reasonable doubt of ten counts of violation of Section 55.1(a) of The General Banking Law of 2000, as penalized under Section 36 of RA No. 7653 (The New Central Bank Act). Each was sentenced to suffer the penalty of imprisonment of two (2) years and one (1) day, minimum, to four (4) years, maximum, for each count.

RTC-Balanga also found Ortiguera guilty beyond reasonable doubt of one count of violation of Section 26 of the Rural Banks Act of 1992 and was sentenced the same penalty.

For its part, MCTC-Orani-Samal found Ortiguera and Dominguez guilty beyond reasonable doubt of two counts and one count, respectively, of falsification of commercial or public documents under Article 172(1), in relation to Article 171(2) of the RPC.

They were each sentenced to suffer the penalty of imprisonment of three months minimum, to one year and one day, maximum, and to each pay a fine of Php5,000.00, which will be converted to imprisonment in case of failure of payment.