Tuesday, April 17, 2018

An Open Letter Regarding Bank Fraud

Embassy of the United States of America
Consular Officers

Dear Sirs:

   My father, Marciano M. Camino was a US Navy Chief of Dental and a Korean War veteran.  He died in August 18, 2017 at the age of 90 in Malagasang 1st, Cavite.   I am the eldest of his four children by his first wife who died in 1983.  I am a US Citizen residing in California.  Two of my brothers are deceased.  My third brother also lives in California.  My stepmother whom my father married in April 14, 1994, died in February 10, 2016.  

   The U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs states in its website and on the above screen grab that “If no legal representative is in country, a consular officer will act as a provisional conservator of the deceased’s personal effects.  Consular officers will usually take possession of: convertible assets such as money.”  I believe that applies to our situation.   I am on dialysis here in California and can’t stay in the Philippines.  

   The bank managers of two banks informed us that his accounts has three signatories, my father, my stepmother, and a woman who claims to be a biological daughter of my father and stepmother.  This woman put her name in the bank accounts as soon as my father and stepmother became bedridden.   The woman’s late registration Birth Certificate and the accompanying affidavit were signed by my stepmother only, assuming that it was her authentic signature.  The affidavit’s Acknowledgement/ Admission of Paternity was not signed by my father.  His refusal to sign it proves he did not acknowledge the woman as his child and lawful heir.  This puts into question her access to the bank accounts.  Delayed registration is the Philippines short cut to legal adoption.  It is, nonetheless, falsification of public document, mainly since my stepmother had cancer of the uterus and a hysterectomy before the woman was born.

   The Philippine banking law states that accounts should be frozen upon the death of one of the account owners.  The banks did not freeze the accounts and allowed the woman to withdraw, even closing one of the accounts in July 2017, one month before my father died and more than one year after my stepmother died.  The banks refuse to give us, rightful heirs, any information on the accounts, invoking the bank secrecy law even after we have submitted identifications as next of kin.

   There is no telling how many aging US Citizen Veterans in the Philippines are being scammed in similar manner.  I believe this was also the reason why my incapacitated father and stepmother both died at home without the benefit of hospitalization.  

   May we request the Provisional Conservator to audit the bank withdrawals and equitably divide my father’s last bequeath between myself and my brothers.  Please help us.

   Thank you for your kind attention.

(Signed by Gloria P. Camino)

This letter was mailed to US Embassy in Manila.

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