Host Anthony Taberna sues ex-employee and banker for allegedly stealing PHP15 million

Coconuts Manila
·2 min read

Broadcaster Anthony Taberna yesterday appeared at the Quezon City Prosecutors’ Office to file complaints of qualified theft against his former employee and a bank officer for allegedly stealing PHP15 million (US$309,000) from his company.

Taberna sued Ernie Patrick Aquino, the former finance and administrative head of A. Taberna Foods, Inc., and Gualberto Baluyot II, the manager of Eastwest Banking Corp’s UP Village branch. Taberna Foods is the company behind Ka Tunying’s Cafe, the radio host’s restaurant.

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Taberna said that Aquino reported during board meetings that the company’s finances were stable, and even used bank reports as proof. However, the host realized that something was amiss when several checks issued by his company bounced because of a lack of funds.

“In the last week of November 2020, several checks issued by A. Taberna Foods to suppliers were dishonored despite the supposed availability of funds. Upon inquiry with (the bank), the company discovered that respondent Aquino was able to open seven other bank accounts under the name of Taberna Foods,” Taberna said in his 11-page complaint.

Taberna alleged that it was Aquino who convinced him to open the company’s first account at Eastwest Bank, with the latter even saying that Baluyot could help in streamlining the restaurant’s finances. Taberna said that Aquino “gravely abused the trust and confidence” given to him by opening the seven other accounts without company approval.

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“He connived with branch manager Baluyot who allowed him to open several accounts on behalf of Taberna Foods without presenting any Secretary’s Certificate or Board Resolution showing his authority to represent the company,” the former DZMM host said.

Aquino allegedly made a total of 175 unauthorized withdrawals from the corporate bank accounts from August 2018 to November 2020. All of these transactions were allegedly approved by Baluyut.

In an interview on the television talk show Magandang Buhay in December, Taberna said that a trusted employee stole from his company, but did not mention Aquino’s name. The alleged theft affected his finances, which was in dire straits due to the expensive treatments needed by his daughter, Zoey, a leukemia patient.

This article, Host Anthony Taberna sues ex-employee and banker for allegedly stealing PHP15 million, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.