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Spurious BSP circular sparks plunder raps vs. ex-President Aquino, allies

Plunder and graft raps were filed against former President Benigno Aquino III and his allies before the Office of the Ombudsman on Friday, based on a spurious document supposedly issued by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

Lawyer Fernando Perito and one Rogelio Cantoria, who claimed to have worked for the BSP from 1976 to 1995, accused Aquino and five others of supposedly transferring billions of dollars worth of gold reserves to a company based in Thailand.

Also named as respondents to the complaint were Senator Leila de Lima, who served as Aquino’s justice secretary, Senator Franklin Drilon, BSP Governor Amado Tetangco Jr., former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and former Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima.

Perito and Cantoria cited as basis for their complaint BSP Circular No. 49 Series of 2014, which supposedly authorized the Centennial Energy Company Limited based in Thailand to produce and issue the “Limited States Dollars Currency” of $100 amounting to a total of $3 trillion.

The money will supposedly be used to fund “humanitarian projects and for ASEAN countries.”

A certification attached to the BSP circular in the complaint indicated that 3,500 metric tons of gold bars registered under the name of “Ferdinand E. Marcos” were taken out of the country and deposited in a foreign bank. The document bore the supposed signatures of De Lima, Roxas, Tetangco, Drilon and Purisima.

The BSP’s website, however, showed no such Circular 49 issued in 2014. All circulars issued by the central bank carried three-digit numbers.

The supposed BSP Circular 49 only appeared on Facebook pages such as “Kingdom Filipina Hacienda Sovereign Host Nation” and news blogs.

The citation of Section 50 of Republic Act 7655 as basis for authorizing Centennial Energy to produce and issue the US dollars was also spurious since the particular law was a 1993 law increasing the minimum wage of household helpers.

The actual RA 7655 has only four sections.

RA 7735, which supposedly provided for the use of the dollars for humanitarian projects and for ASEAN countries, was a 1994 law providing for the establishment of a national high school in Barangay Poblacion in Mawab, Davao to be known as Lorenzo S. Sarmiento Sr. National High School.

In addition to citing the spurious BSP circular, the complaint also contained errors. De Lima was named as “Secretary of the Department of Finance” in the first page of the document, and Roxas as the “Secretary of the Department of Nutrition and Local Government.” — VS, GMA News