RCBC chief: I have no knowledge of money laundering

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Lorenzo Tan, president and CEO of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC).

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Lorenzo Tan, president and CEO of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC), finally defended himself amid allegations of involvement in what could be the country's biggest money laundering scandal.

Tan said he was unaware of the $81 million stolen money from Bangladesh that were reportedly deposited to RCBC Jupiter St., Makati branch last month.

Related: What we know so far about the PH money laundering probe

Tan explained his approval is unnecessary even for such a huge amount. He also said the money can enter their system without the need for their intervention.

"Because to impose such a requirement would slow down the process that needs to be expeditious and efficient," he said. "International remittances under accurate SWIFT instructions are credited to the beneficiaries accounts without the need of any manual intervention."

The branch's bank manager Maia Santos-Deguito earlier said in an interview the RCBC president may have been aware of the transaction.

Tan dismissed the allegation as baseless, pointing out that he has never known Deguito.

"These allegations are baseless and malicious. To set the record straight, I do not personally know Ms. Deguito and have neither nor have maintained any relationship or direct dealing with her," said Tan.

"More importantly, I have no personal knowledge of, much less personal participation in any of the transactions that are subject of this inquiry."

RCBC President and CEO Lorenzo Tan says he does not personally know Maia Santos-Deguito. "Allegations are baseless and malicious... I have no personal knowledge or participation in any of the transactions that are subject of this inquiry." Live streaming: http://cnn.ph/1LXc9jG

Posted by CNN Philippines on Monday, March 14, 2016

Related: Chinese man in Manila given millions from Bangladesh heist, says Sen. Guingona

For most of the time, however, both Tan and Deguito used the Bank Secrecy Law to defend themselves from the grilling of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee.

Sen. Teofisto Guingona III was frustrated when he asked Deguito on whether she was alarmed upon seeing the suspicious transactions.

The anti-money laundering council, however, said it should have alarmed RCBC officials when such anomalous amounts entered the bank.

The senators, meanwhile, vowed to continue the investigation even up to the next administration.

Also read: Bangladesh central bank governor resigns over heist

Sen. Guingona: What conclusion can the public have? This is not a secret. A foreign government has asked our assistance.Tan: I understand your frustration, your honor. Maybe the AMLC will be in a better position to discuss the facts. But again, I am precluded from discussing details of the transaction. Live streaming: http://cnn.ph/1LXc9jG

Posted by CNN Philippines on Tuesday, March 15, 2016