MANILA - The Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC) has filed a criminal case against officials of shuttered Banco Filipino for paying over P700 million in legal fees to various law firms without any contracts or supporting documents.
PDIC filed the case before the Department of Justice saying the bank officials conducted business "in an unsafe or unsound manner" as Banco Filipino was in dire financial difficulty when the fees were paid.
The legal fees cost the bank P789.56 million, and it was eventually closed and placed under the PDIC receivership.
"Moreover, a partner of the law firm which was paid the amount of P225.87 million was a director of the Bank," PDIC said.
Charged were the Bank’s chairman and president; vice chairman; four directors; corporate secretary and executive vice president; and other high ranking officers, said PDIC.
Banco Filipino was ordered closed by the Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and placed under the PDIC receivership on March 17, 2011.
PDIC had earlier filed three criminal complaints with the DOJ involving a total amount of P5.2 billion against the former directors, officers and employees of the closed Banco Filipino due to other irregularities and anomalies discovered by the PDIC as receiver of the closed bank.