A former president and five officers of a closed rural bank have been charged for qualified theft and violation of Republic Act 3591 (as amended).

In a statement, state deposit insurer Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation said the DOJ filed three criminal informations: two qualified theft, and one case for violation of the PDIC Charter for conducting business in an unsafe and unsound manner, against the former President and Manager, Officer-in-Charge and Cashier, and Internal Auditor, as well as the former loan officer, teller, and bookkeeper of the closed Peñafrancia Rural Bank of Calabanga (Camarines Sur), Inc. (PRBCI).

The cases are based on a complaint filed by the PDIC and are now pending with the Regional Trial Court, Branch 63, Calabanga, Camarines Sur.

“The accused betrayed the confidence bestowed upon them as officers and employees of the Bank when they willfully took PhP557,044.05 which was received by PRBCI as deposits,” the PDIC said.

The DOJ earlier found that the respondents manipulated bank records when they made it appear that the deposits received by the Bank aggregating PhP557,044.05 were “cancelled” and that the certificates of time deposits that were issued were declared “missing.”

The PDIC said the accused conducted business in an unsafe or unsound manner by receiving the deposits from their depositors but intentionally did not record them in the books of the bank.

This practice “contradicted the generally accepted standards of prudent operation, to the damage and prejudice of the Bank, the PDIC and the general public,” the PDIC added.

Qualified theft is a crime defined under Article 310 of the Revised Penal Code, while conducting business in an unsafe or unsound manner is a violation of Republic Act No. 3591, as amended, or the PDIC Charter.

PRBCI was ordered closed by the Monetary Board (MB) of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas on December 10, 2015. The MB also designated PDIC as statutory receiver of PRBCI. (Rommel F. Lopez)