Ongpin on the offensive, to take BSP exec to court


Former Trade Minister Roberto V. Ongpin will take Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. to court allegedly for violating the Anti-Graft Law.

Ongpin claimed the BSP official maintained a “contradictory” position on Philex Mining transactions, which led to the freezing of Ongpin’s bank accounts.

The criminal case stemmed from the decision of the Development Bank of the Philippines to lend to companies owned by Ongpin in 2009. The funds were used to buy Philex shares.

“Espenilla has caused my reputation the gravest damage by his signing an ex-parte petition with the Court of Appeals that my bank accounts be frozen,” Ongpin said in a statement Friday. “This action, which is totally without basis, is never taken lightly by anyone, not my international business partners, and certainly not by the investing public, which has lost for me several billions in market value of my listed shares. I cannot allow Espenilla to take this most serious action, whether deliberate or not, and let him get away with it.”

According to Ongpin, Espenilla testified under oath during last year’s Senate hearings that the DBP loans were “prudent and positive, and resulted in trading gains for DBP.”

But in November 2012, Ongpin said Espenilla submitted a petition to the Court of Appeals, stating that the DBP loans made to Ongpin were irregular. The BSP official also petitioned the court to issue a freeze order on Ongpin’s bank accounts, which was granted.

Ongpin said Espenilla must have “forgotten his testimony under oath during the Senate hearings, held last year.”

In 2009, Ongpin’s Deltaventure borrowed P660 million from DBP to finance the acquisition of Philex shares, including 50 million Philex shares owned by DBP. The loans have been fully paid well before maturity and with full interest.

Because of these transactions, Ongpin said the DBP was able to earn profits, including trading gains, amounting to P1.4 billion. He added that the DBP loans constituted a mere 17 percent of the total funds that Ongpin raised from six financial institutions to acquire the Philex shares.

These transactions were questioned when the new board of DBP took over in 2010. It was during the Senate probe on the matter that Espenilla declared under oath that the transactions of DBP with Ongpin were “prudent” and “positive,” resulting in “trading gains” for the bank, Ongpin said.

In November 2012, Espenilla, then acting chair of the Anti-Money Laundering Council, signed a resolution directing the ex-parte application for a freeze order against the accounts of 30 individuals and entities, including Ongpin and his companies for the same DBP-Philex transactions.

A freeze order was then issued by the Court of Appeals last December.

Ongpin said the freeze order had caused great damage to him, and decided to file a case, citing the Anti-Graft Law which punishes public officers who cause undue injury to any party in the discharge of his official functions.

But Espenilla said in the AMLC resolution that Ongpin had caused “undue injury” to DBP in terms of “opportunity profits” when the bank sold its 50 million Philex shares to Ongpin at P12.75 a share in November 2009, instead of selling the same to businessman Manny Pangilinan at P21 a share in December that same year.

Ongpin said the Ombudsman herself, in a resolution dated Sept. 24, 2012, dropped this “undue injury” charge and refused to find probable cause to charge any of the respondents, including Ongpin.

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  • Jason Cruz

    A countless DBP officials who made millions of pesos due to inside trading of Philex.   I recalled one senior official who almost cried in front of us on our Christmas Party before he retired from the bank.   Ang sabi nya sobra sobra biyaya binigay ni Lord sa kanya. heheheh,  Ngayon kasama sya sya criminal case na sinampa ng gobyerno.    OPEN SECRET PO SA DBP ang behest loan na ito.  Si DAVID parang hitler yan sa DBP walang makapalag dahil hawak ni FG Arroyo.  Ikulong lahat yan.

  • Pablo Juan

    I notice, these personalities normally go on offensive once they hear they will be charged in court soon.. inunahan lang kung baga.  Otherwise, they normally just lie low and wait for the noise to die down.

  • Amelia Esguerra

    Ongpin does not have any credibility at all. This remnants of MarcoS and ARROYO SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED FULLY.

  • ed0408

    All gov’t. institutions should coordinate and use all its resources to jail those who are guilty of economic sabotage. Jail all public officials who will accept bribes from  these saboteurs. Civilians who support these saboteurs should also be investigated.  

  • batangpaslit

    bakit hindi nila nabenta ang DBP shares diretso sa kay MVP? tapos, nagreklamo ngaon?

    • Jason Cruz

      New management ang nagrereklamo, yung naunang dbp mngt puro alaga ni FG Arroyo at kaibigan ni Gloria Pandak.    Ang ibig sabihin daan daan milyong ang nawala sa kaban ng bayan at napunta lang sa iilang tao.  

  • Great Man

    Marcos and Arroyo crony. Well ofcourse Ongpin has a news article here, he has lots of money to pay “friendly” (please deposit cash to my ATM please) reporters. 

    • popeyee

      you’re jumping to a conclusion without reading the article..

  • sorbetero

    What reputation?? What offense?? Case dismissed for abject lack of cause of action!!

  • Rj Nieto

    As far as I know, the Revised Penal Code lets loose defendants who lied under oath if they are convinced that they may suffer serious repercussions should they do the right thing. In this case, assuming that the BSP guy did lie, then I guess he could just say that he was still gauging the political will of the goverment-at-large before he changed his position on the matter.

    Simply put, lusot si Kuya.

  • bilango71

    Reputation! Anong reputation.?  Quoting Trillanes “you have no reputation!” This was what Trillanes exclamined during the Senate hearing as addressed to a former GMA general..

  • MrJoseRizal

    Kung sino ang MAGNANAKAW siya pa ang galit at matapang. More Kapalmuks in the Philippines

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