Quantcast
Latest Stories

BSP, Ongpin trade barbs anew

Businessman threatens to sue AMLC execs

By ,

BSP Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. (left) and businessman Roberto Ongpin: At odds

The camp of businessman Roberto Ongpin on Wednesday branded as “lame” the defense of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas that it did not reject the businessman’s directorship in Philippine Bank of Communications but merely “deferred” action on the issue.

In a statement, the legal counsel of the former Marcos trade minister said the decision of the BSP’s Monetary Board to defer action on his appointment “was essentially contingent on the resolution of the criminal cases ‘allegedly’ filed with the Office of the Ombudsman.”

“This could take months, if not years to resolve,” he said. “The Monetary Board action therefore effectively prevented Mr. Ongpin from being confirmed as director and co-chairman of PBCom indefinitely.”

The tit-for-tat exchange of barbs came a day after the BSP called Ongpin’s allegations of partiality on the part of the regulator “unwarranted and patently unfair,” saying that the central bank “has the responsibility to ensure that careful evaluation of critical elements is made before final decisions are promulgated.”

“For the record, the Monetary Board [of the BSP] has not denied but simply deferred Mr. Ongpin’s confirmation pending completion of assessment of certain material information,” the BSP said.

The bank regulator added that the AMLC’s freeze order came after the Court of Appeals found probable cause to act against Ongpin.

But Ongpin’s camp said the businessman—who is being accused of receiving preferential treatment in receiving a P550-million loan from the state-owned Development Bank of the Philippines (an amount already fully repaid)—used the word “deny” in his letter to the Monetary Board.

“In its statement, however, the BSP obviously and deliberately misquoted Mr. Ongpin in order to try and make their case,” it said.

The businessman sold his stake in PBCom to his nephew Eric Recto last week in a move, he said, meant to insulate the bank from his worsening row with the BSP and the Anti-Money Laundering Council, which had imposed a freeze order on his bank accounts in early December 2012.

The AMLC is chaired by the BSP chief, but since Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. was abroad on official business when Ongpin’s issue was tackled, the freeze order was authorized by Tetangco’s alternate, BSP Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr.

Ongpin said he would sue Espenilla for his act of ordering the freeze on his bank accounts despite the latter having testified before the Senate in 2011 that the controversial DBP loans were above board and resulted in profits for the bank.

“The criminal suit is being directed at Deputy Governor Espenilla precisely because of the contradictory positions he took on the matter,” the statement said. “During the Senate hearings in 2011, Mr. Espenilla stated under oath that Mr. Ongpin’s transactions with DBP regarding Philex shares were ‘positive’ for the bank. Interestingly, the BSP news release did not address this particular issue (which is of paramount importance), because there simply is no defense against it.”

Ongpin took note of BSP’s defense, saying that the AMLC’s freeze order was based on the resolution of the Office of the Ombudsman against him, but noted that a careful reading of the resolution would show that the Ombudsman did not rule that Ongpin committed any crime when he acquired DBP’s Philex shares.

“Instead [the Ombudsman] indicted Mr. Ongpin for the loans DBP extended his company to finance a small fraction of the price of those shares,” he said. “However, it is undisputed that Mr. Ongpin has fully repaid those loans and it was irresponsible for AMLC to misrepresent to the Court of Appeals that their proceeds were in his bank accounts and that therefore those accounts should be frozen.”

The statement added that the businessman also intended to sue AMLC executive director Vicente Aquino “whom the BSP statement in effect has identified as having participated in the damage done to Mr. Ongpin.”


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas , Banking , Nestor Espenilla Jr. , Philippine Bank of Communications , Roberto Ongpin

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/RDDM5UQ45HLPPKM66KYEBCMTCE dave

    As I read the article, whether Mr Ongpin is guilty or not guilty, may isang balimbing na tauhan ng BSP. And name niya Espenilla. Or pwedeng naiipit siya sa mas mataas sa kanya. Matapos niyang sabihin “under oath” na clear yung transaction ni Mr Ongpin, tapos sa huli kakasuhan mo yung businessman at fifreeze account niya kundi ka ba naman sira.



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

  • What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  • Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  • 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  • Napoles surgery in Makati hospital successful
  • Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  • Sports

  • Mixers trim Aces; Painters repulse Bolts
  • Donaire junks Garcia as coach, taps father
  • ’Bye Ginebra: No heavy heart this time
  • UAAP board tackles new rules
  • Baguio climb to decide Le Tour de Filipinas
  • Lifestyle

  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  • Visiting chefs from Denmark get creative with ‘ube,’ ‘ buko,’ ‘calamansi,’ mangoes
  • Salted baked potatoes
  • A first in a mall: Authentic Greek yogurt–made fresh in front of diners
  • Entertainment

  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • In love … with acting
  • From prison to the peak of success
  • ‘Asedillo’ location thrives
  • Business

  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Philippine Airlines to stop shipment of shark fins
  • PH banks not ready for Asean integration
  • Stocks down on profit-taking
  • Banks allowed to use ‘cloud’
  • Technology

  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Obama arrives in Tokyo, first stop of 4-nation tour
  • Believe it or not: Filipinos love US more than Yanks
  • Marketplace