RCBC lawyer handling $81-M cyber-heist case resigns

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 29 2016 03:09 PM

RCBC counsel Macel Estavillo delivers a point during her testimony at the Senate hearing on the $81 million money laundering scheme. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The chief legal counsel who represented Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) in the $81 million money laundering case will step down from her post by the end of the year, the bank said on Tuesday.

The bank told the stock exchange that Atty. Maria Celia Fernandez-Estavillo, head of the bank's legal affairs group and corporate secretary, resigned effective December 31, 2016 "to pursue other endeavors."

Replacing Estavillo is Atty. George Gilbert Dela Cuesta, who took office as deputy group head of legal and regulatory affairs group with the rank of first senior vice president effective on November 29.

The bank's senior vice president, Koji Onozawa, also resigned effective Nov. 30 "to pursue other endeavors."

The resignations were announced a week after five RCBC officials and a former treasurer were sued by the Anti-Money Laundering Council for "willfully" ignoring suspicious activity that led to tens of millions of dollars vanishing after a heist on Bangladesh's central bank.

The Anti-Money Laundering Council charged former treasury and retail banking group head Raul Victor Tan, national sales director Ismael Reyes, regional sales director Brigette Capiña, district sales director Nestor Pineda, customer service head Romualdo Agarrado and former senior customer relations officer Angela Ruth Torres.