Friday, August 05, 2011

DBP files raps vs Ongpin et al for questionable loans

MANILA, Philippines (1st UPDATE) - The Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) has filed criminal and administrative complaints against former DBP President Rey David, businessman Roberto Ongpin, and 26 other persons over P670 million in loans granted to Ongpin.

DBP President Francisco del Rosario said DBP Assistant Legal Counsel Benjamin Pinpin, who was found dead this week, apparently by suicide, had been included in the investigation into the loan transactions.

DBP lawyer Zenaida Ongkiko-Acorda filed the complaint at the Office of the Ombudsman.

The complaint alleges that a day after the second loan was approved, Ongpin bought P637.5 million shares of Philex Mining Co. from DBP at P12.75 per share. Less than a month later, he sold them for P21 a share to Philex Chairman Manuel Pangilinan.

DBP accuses David and Ongpin of "connivance" in a transaction that, it says, resulted in a P412.4 million opportunity loss.

It accuses David of "exposing DBP to high lending risks" in approving the loans to the Ongpin company which, it said, was undercapitalized.

It says the bank skirted many regulations to grant the loan, the second of which was approved in one day.

The complaint says these are signs of a "behest loan."

Ongpin and David have previously said the loans were proper and also paid.

David today said he was "surprised it comes at this point when the suicide of Attorney Pinpin has happened. They (the present board) have taken this tact as a squid tactic to mask the real cause of the suicide which seems to be a result of their harassment of Pinpin."

In what police said appeared to be a suicide note, Pinpin indicated he had been pressured to cite former officials of the bank for questionable transactions.

Ongpin associate Josephine Manalo, who is also named in the complaint, said Ongpin would release a statement later today.

Controversial deals

In a special report last May, published "DBP-Ongpin-Philex controversial deals detailed," which discussed a controversial loan extended by DBP to Deltaventure Resources Inc. (DVRI) amounting to P510 million.

DVRI used the loan proceeds to purchase the bank's shares in Philex Mining, a listed company that the group of businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan wanted to control.

The loan and the stock transactions occurred in late-2009.

DBP was then led by David.

David had said all the transactions followed banking rules and passed through necessary credit checks. He also said the bank earned hefty sums from trading the Philex Mining shares, resulting in record profits for the bank that year.

In a letter to ABS-CBN News, Ongpin also stressed that the transactions were above-board. The current DBP board initiated an internal audit of these loan-and-stock deals early this year.

Several officers of the bank were identified as having been involved in the processing of the loan and stock transactions.

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