Ex-DBP prexy denies ‘behest’ loan to Ongpin's company

October 7, 2011 9:41 pm 

MANILA, Oct. 7 – A former official of the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) vehemently denied on Friday the alleged P660 million ‘behest’ loan granted to Delta Ventures Resources Inc. (DVRI) owned by Roberto Ongpin.

Former DBP president Reynaldo David said during the Senate blue ribbon committee inquiry that the loan was above board and not actually a ‘behest’ loan because it was granted to Ongpin’s company without violating the bank’s policy.

"The grant of the loan and credit accommodation to DVRI is in accordance with DBP's guidelines and policies. The securities trading of DBP's Philex shares with DVRI and Two Rivers, were accordance with the mandate and the guidelines of DBP, and undertaken to generate revenues for the bank. The securities trading transactions did not violate any BSP guidelines on safe and sound banking practices nor DBP policies," David said.

David also said the loan had already been paid by Ongpin, who used the money to buy Philex Mining shares which later sold to higher prices.

The present DBP leadership has already filed criminal and administrative charges before the Ombudsman against the former board members of the bank under the leadership of David in connection with the anomaly.

Newly-confirmed Commission on Audit (COA) chairperson Ma. Gracia Pulido-Tan told the Senate panel that the COA has already started investigating the alleged ‘behest’ loan and expected to come out with the report within a month.

Pulido-Tan said there were indications of “insider trading” in the granting of the loan to Ongpin who was also reportedly one of the directors of the Philex Mining when the loan was approved by the old DBP board where Ongpin was also a member.

Ongpin was not present due to his previous commitment abroad but his lawyer Atty. Alex Poblador said his client is willing to attend in the next Senate investigation.

Poblador asked the committee to allow him to read the statement of Ongpin but Senate blue ribbon chairman Teofisto Guingona opposed the move.

The Senate inquiry was triggered by the death of former DBP official Atty. Benjamin Pinpin who allegedly committed suicide after the current DBP officials allegedly forced him to involve former DBP board in the anomaly.

Pinpin is one of the 20 officials and employees of the DBP who are now being investigated in connection with the controversial loan. (PNA) RMA/jfm

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