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Fate of sick ‘lola’ in US$50M fake check case known Nov 20

09 November 2018

By Vir B. Lumicao

Prosecutors have indicated that there is a 50-50 chance that the case against a 76-year-old Filipina tourist who tried to cash an allegedly fake US$50 million check at Hang Seng Bank nearly two years ago will be dropped.

But the case may still go the other way for defendant Maria Ilao Gosilatar, who has been in custody since Dec 9, 2016, and is  facing a charge of using a false instrument at the District Court. 

Lawyers for Gosilatar who is on legal aid, told Judge C.P. Pang on Nov 8 they had been informed by the prosecution that it needs more time to consider whether to pursue the case because of the defendant’s poor health.

As a result, Pang adjourned the hearing until Nov 20, and ordered Gosilatar to remain in custody.

Gosilatar is suffering from a growing brain tumor, according to a medical report the defense presented to the court at the previous hearing on Oct 11.  Doctors who examined her reportedly said she has only two years to live.

But on application of the prosecution, Pang ordered a second medical examination of Pang. The defense was supposed to tell the court about the result of this second medical check, but nothing was mentioned about this at the hearing.

Gosilatar was arrested two years ago at the Hang Seng Bank headquarters on Des Voeux Road Central when she went there with a local accountant allegedly to try and cash the check.

The trial of Gosilatar was originally set for Oct 26, but was postponed to Jan 28-30 pending the second medical report. The upcoming hearing will determine whether she walks out free from prison, or put on trial.

Gosilatar, allegedly the chairwoman of a Bulacan-based charity group named Mama Mary 2000 International Foundation, has told the court that she received a Philippine police report saying she was a victim of scammers.

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