Trader sues cooperative for revealing bank record

Lalaine Jimenea (The Freeman) - April 17, 2018 - 12:00am

ORMOC CITY, Philippines — A Fil-Chinese businessman has sued the Metro Ormoc Community Credit Cooperative, more known as OCCCI, for allegedly revealing his bank records without his consent.

Neil Warren Chu, who owns a chain of cellphone stores, has sued the cooperative’s board of directors, its executives, the branch manager, and their lawyer for using his bank records including that of many other depositors as an attachment to their affidavit in a libel complaint they filed against their own legal counsel Adelito Solibaga.

Sued for violation of the bank secrecy law are Fr. Elmo Manching, the parish priest of San Miguel town and incumbent board chairman; board directors, Msgr. Manuel Damayo who is the parish priest of Jaro, Leyte, Juan Labra, Gilberto Nuñez, and Estela Suralta; executives Mizpah Aira Taala, Segundino Bornasal, branch manager Aisa Dumalag, and, their lawyer Collin Rosell.

In his complaint filed before the city prosecutor’s office last Thursday, Chu said that he is a depositor of OCCCI and regularly deposits at the cooperative and also make regular weekly withdrawals. On February 28, he withdrew P575,250 and just left OCCCI a balance of 1,008.51.

To his “shock and surprise, I learned that the names and accounts of persons who withdrew their savings account from OCCCI were published/disclosed” by the OCCCI management. He said a list revealing the names, addresses, account numbers and savings balance was used by the OCCCI management to bolster a libel complaint they filed against their legal counsel.

Chu said that the respondents’ act is “patent violation” of the bank secrecy law, or specifically Section 2 and 3 of Republic Act 1405.

In his complaint, Chu said that under the law, deposits of whatever nature are “considered as of an absolutely confidential nature and may not be examined, inquired or looked into by another person, government official, bureau or office.”

He said there are only four conditions in which a deposit may be looked into. These are a.) Upon the written permission, b.) In cases of impeachment, c.) Upon the order of a court in cases of bribery and dereliction of public officials or private persons suspected of money laundering, and d.) When the deposited money is itself the subject of litigation.

Chu emphasized that he never gave his consent or written permission to the OCCCI officials for his bank information to be revealed for any purpose. He added that aside from being liable to the provisions of the bank secrecy act, Manching and Dumalag, being chairman of the Board of Directors, and branch manager, respectively, are criminally liable for allowing the rest of the respondents to use the list in their libel complaint against Solibaga. (FREEMAN)  

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