Boycott calls fail to disrupt work at BPI
It was business as usual for the Bank of the Philippine Islands in Cebu on Friday amid calls for a boycott by supporters of presidential candidate, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
“As you can see, there are no long lines, only some customers doing their regular transactions like deposits,” said Maximo Rey Eleccion, preferred banking relationship manager at BPI Capitol Branch here.
It was a similar scenario in BPI’s 35 other branches in Cebu, said Eleccion, also president of the Cebu Bankers Club.
“BPI is an institution that has been there even before the first president of the Philippine Republic was introduced… We have been to several elections, we don’t deal so much with politics,” he said.
Calls for withdrawal and closing of BPI bank accounts have been circulated on Facebook by supporters of Duterte after Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV accused the mayor of having several bank accounts with BPI that were not disclosed in his Statement of Assets and Liabilities and Network (SALN).
Among these were the P227-million deposits at the BPI branch on Julia Vargas Avenue in Pasig.
Duterte earlier denied that such an account existed but only to admit it later and clarify that it contained a small amount of money.
A Facebook user Rosani Masau was quoted by a columnist Manny Piñol of Manila Times that she and her husband, Ronnie, were alarmed by the security breach in the bank and decided to close their BPI accounts after the accounts of Duterte were leaked to Trillanes.
Piñol, former governor of North Cotabato, is a trusted friend of Duterte.
The post made by the columnist generated 8,131 shares as of 4 p.m. on Friday and reactions including likes of about 7,533.
When the Inquirer tried to search the name Rosani Masau on Facebook, one Facebook account showed the profile photo of a woman’s eyes and eyebrows.
The account had no friends to show. On her timeline, only posts against Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Mar Roxas were shown.
The Inquirer also tried to search the name of the Ronie Massau on Facebook but it didn’t yield any result.
But Cebu for Duterte volunteers said the supporters didn’t withdraw their accounts with BPI but instead deposited money in Duterte’s published BPI bank account to show their support.
“We will never try to hamper any vital economic activity, but, yes, we will deposit our P5 coins in accordance with proper banking procedures,” said Dr. Rowena Burden of the Cebu for Duterte volunteer group.
“It’s simply a gesture of support and manifestation of confidence,” she added.
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