INSIDE PAGE | Fernan A. Gianan:

RCBC branch here to open this October at VTC

With just seven weeks to go before the filing of candidacies for the May 9, 2022 elections on Oct. 1-8, 2021, the political pot is now simmering with activity.

Following Cong. Hector Sanchez’s second visit to the island in a month, TGP Partylist Rep. Jose Teves planed in last Monday, Aug. 9, not only to join the muted celebration of the town fiesta nin Baras but to meet with members of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) late this week.

According to knowledgeable sources, Teves’ group is fielding some candidates in the race for seats in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, despite an alliance with the tandem of Gov. Joseph Cua and Cong. Sanchez.

It remains to be seen whether Teves and his allies will be able to patch together a cohesive lineup with the Cua-Sanchez combine that would be able to win next year.

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Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) is setting up a branch in the capital town of Virac at the site of the former Chicken Deli at Virac Town Center.

According to a source, the bank’s branch will open its doors to the public by October 2021 after it has completed the training of its personnel next month.

Established in 1960, RCBC is one of the largest universal banks in the country with total consolidated resources of over P700 billion.

Seven years after it began operations as a development bank, Alfonso Yuchengco of the Yuchengco Group of Companies assumed chairmanship of RCBC, paving the way for its expansion through the next decades.

It is now majority-owned by YGC, one of the oldest and largest conglomerates in Southeast Asia covering over 60 businesses which include Malayan Insurance, the construction company EEI Corp., educational institutions, and vehicle dealerships.

Five years ago, the bank became involved in the Bangladesh Bank cyber heist, in which hackers transferred US$81 million from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to 4 fictitious RCBC bank accounts in the Philippines. The bank was fined P1 billion by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the manager of a Makati branch where the money was withdrawn was charged with money laundering.

Despite the incident, RCBC remains one of the largest private domestic banks in the country in terms of assets and has a network of over 418 branches and 1,375 ATMs as of March 2021.

The opening of the bank will certainly be welcomed by the business community and ordinary residents who are now frequenting banks in greater numbers since the pandemic began last year.

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Now that the crypto currency trading scam dubbed as “Complan” on Face Book has collapsed, hundreds of its victims are now scrambling to collect their investments from their agents or the alleged masterminds, a couple from Panganiban town.

The unraveling of the scheme apparently started in the first week of June, just as the Tribune made its expose on the scam. Many investors whose payouts were scheduled that week failed to receive their investments and huge earnings promised by the scam operators.

Caught in the middle were some government employees and self-employed individuals who agreed to serve as “downlines” or agents of the Panti couple, collecting investments and remitting them to the latter perhaps in exchange for a certain commission.

As no paper or receipts were given to the investors, these agents have evidence that the investments were indeed given to their “upline” agent.

They will probably serve as state witnesses against those responsible if they are caught.

To realize this, victims should file a complaint as early as possible with the police, CIDG or the courts.

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THE EARLY MORNING LECTURE. A man was staggering home drunk in the early hours of the morning when he was stopped by a police officer.

“What are you doing out at this time of the night?” asked the officer.

“I’m going to a lecture,” slurred the drunk.

“And who’s going to give a lecture at this hour?”

“My wife.”

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