Filipino tourist in fake check case needs over $105K for lawyer

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District Court

A 75-year-old Filipino tourist was required to pay $105,249 so she could have a lawyer to represent her in District Court.

M.I. Gosilatar on Nov. 7 told District Court Judge C.P. Pang that she was required by the Legal Aid Department to pay the amount so that she could have a lawyer in the court proceedings.

Gosilatar has been in custody since Dec. 9, 2016 when she allegedly tried to encash a fake P2.5- billion check in a Hang Seng Bank along Des Voeux Road in Central.

A representative of the Legal Aid Department told Judge Pang that the offer to represent Gosilatar in the court proceedings lapsed on Oct. 31 and that she would not be represented by them.

Asked by Judge Pang if she wanted to have a lawyer, the defendant, through a Tagalog interpreter, said she wanted to have one.

“I really want to have a lawyer, but the money that I was expecting to come so I could pay the Legal Aid did not come,” Gosilatar said.

Asked by Judge Pang, how much she would have to pay, the defendant said $105, 249 or some P625,000. The defendant then asked to be given 15 more days so she could pay the money to Legal Aid.

She said her son told her that he could send the money on Nov. 15.

Judge Pang then adjourned Gosilatar’s case to Dec. 12, and instructed the Filipina to renew her application with the Legal Aid while waiting for the money to come.

Asked if she had an application for bail, Gosilatar said she had, adding that she obtained a certificate from Philippine police, saying she was duped into believing that the check she was trying to encash was legitimate.

“Actually, I was scammed. I have a copy of police report from the Philippines here,” she said.

The prosecution, however, objected to Gosilatar’s bail application, saying the defendant had no local ties, and no permanent place of abode in Hong Kong.

Judge Pang then refused Gosilatar’s application for bail, and reminded her again to renew her application with the Legal Aid while waiting for the money.

In a hearing in January at the High Court, Gosilatar’s lawyer said the check was a “donation “ from another Filipina, Cynthia De Guzman, to the defendant’s charity—the Friends of Mama Mary 2000 charity foundation.

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