Ongpin enters not guilty plea


Businessman Roberto Ongpin: Not guilty. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Businessman Roberto Ongpin pleaded not guilty at his conditional arraignment at the Sandiganbayan on Wednesday to graft charges in connection with P660 million in alleged behest loans that his Deltaventures Resources Inc. (DVRI) obtained from the Development Bank of the Philipines (DBP) in 2009.

However, Ongpin’s decision to submit himself to arraignment should not be considered as waiver of his motion to quash the graft charges filed by the Office of the Ombudsman, said the businessman’s lawyer Alex Poblador.

Ongpin, who was allowed to post bail of P80,000, refused to be interviewed after the arraignment.

Ongpin asked the antigraft court to recall a hold-departure order it had issued against him and submitted a motion to leave for travel abroad to attend business meetings from Feb. 24 to March 25, 2013.

He said he was scheduled leave for France, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Hong Kong.

The court ordered Ongpin’s lawyers to submit a manifestation detailing Ongpin’s actual itinerary with specific dates and the places where he will be staying while abroad. It is scheduled to act on the request Thursday.

Ongpin and two of his executives—Josephine Manalo, DVRI president, and Ma. Lourdes Torres, treasurer of Goldenmedia Corp. (GMC)—were the private coaccused in the graft cases that the Ombudsman filed against 25 former officials of the DBP in connection with the P660-million loans.

The complaint described the loans to Ongpin as “behest,” alleging that they were granted with extraordinary speed, were undercollateralized and that the borrower, DVRI, was undercapitalized.

Ongpin, it was also alleged, was a crony of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s husband, which supposedly explains the supposed rush to approve the loan.–Cynthia D. Balana

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  • asarin

    at galing at ang tibay talaga nitong si ongpin. naging crony ni marcos… tapos ni gloria arroyo… hmmm parang pusang magnanakaw ng ulam ang survival skill nitong intsik na ito… hmmm mas hanga pa talaga ako sa kay jaime ongpin… at least nagharakiri para mabayaran ang mga kasalanan… sana makag-isip isip itong si bobby ongpin at gayahin na lang si jaime!

  • FernandoBusi

    Ongpin was out of the country when the arraignment was scheduled he could have gone to hiding if he wanted to. Dami talaga jealous people dito. 

    • laluzcinco

      You are missing the point my friend. The issue here is not about people being jealous of his wealth nor his travel abroad ,rather it is the issue of Behest Loan! Nothing else.

      • FernandoBusi

        Its only behest because of politics. It was repaid, the bank made money, if DBP were a private bank there will be no issue. 

        Any big client of a bank gets deals like this, quick loan processing, collateral less loans, can be had if you have the credit rating for it. 

        Lets not forget a mid manager lawyer was forced to commit suicide on this rather than lie because the new board wanted him to show an irregularity where there was none. 

      • cabcog

        You may have missed the point that the said transaction is fraudulent at the beginning.  It is probably difficult to prove but DBP officials may have leaked to RO the fact that MVP was very interested to buy the shares which DBP held at that time.  If the DBP Officials have transacted the sale directly between MVP and DBP, profits will be huge and instead of landing in the hands of RO should have been in the government coffers and we should not be talking about the behest loans.  RO was a marcos crony and was used to this kind of work.

        Private banks will think twice or more before it lend a huge amount to RO or his company. Prudent banks will not risk the money of depositors and their license for this questionable loan/transaction especially to people with political association. RO already thought that private banks are his competitors in this transaction and leaking it to them will be disastrous. Thus, DBP was the easy choice for him since he has connections with GMA.

        If you were the DBP Officials, why would you sell a profitable and huge investment to a trader/middle man while you could transact directly with the interested investor/s.

        Also, you should not miss the point that MVP is very much aware that those huge chunk of the shares were held by DBP and he could have asked them to buy those shares.  This is purely speculative but it is the best way to do such transactions both from the perspective of the buyer and seller.

        About the suicide, we didn’t really know what was the reason behind it.  He possibly knew something about the transaction and there were evidence to prove it.  It is possible that the DBP officials were pointing their fingers on him and that the prosecutors were also exerting too much pressure on him.  Poor guy.

      • FernandoBusi

        Actually Ongpin offered to sell the shares to MVP before acquiring them. In business this is called quick thinking. Sometimes having a middle man could not be avoided, how would DBP officials know MVP was on the look out for their shares? Do they have his direct line? I would much rather expect MVP and bobby could have had a passing conversation which made bobby think he could secure the shares first, and resell them again, this is quick thinking. 

        If you were DBP and MVP approached you directly wouldn’t you jack up the price in an ex-deal knowing he has resource to burn (ala TV-5). So the smart thing for him to do was look see who’s willing to sell. Look at whats happened to the GMA7 deal nothing coz when you go directly to an unmotivated seller who knows you have money you get the top price.

        Any businessman worth his salt would have done this, there are no laws against this. Even BSP officials cleared this in a senate investigation before they got squeezed by Malacanang. 

      • cabcog

        I believe what you are saying are all speculations.  No one really knows what transpired in those deals.

        A direct line is not needed for MVP to approach DBP officials.  Bear in mind that DBP officials are just employees (not lilke the Duavits who are the actual owners who know the real value of their company) and Arroyo had hands both on the sale and loan for this kind of transaction to push through.

        One doesn’t need to be an expert, to understand why somene like Ongpin would borrow money to buy the some shares (for a hefty and quick profit).  This will qualilfy as securities borrowing arrangement (but package in a different way) and an unsecuritized loan and not quick thinking.  These transactions are regulated by the PSE.

        Just like I’ve said no private bank would not raised a red flag if Ongpin applied for a P660M loan for purposes of buying a seem to be a big chunk of sought/profitable investment. The private bank would simply look at his ability to pay and purpose.

        If all my guess are true, this is again an example of marcos like fraudulent transaction same as the coco levy fund which Arroyo seemed to have adopted.

        Stealing from the government is a crime including a circumvented transaction.

      • tower_of_power

        Kaya merong mga banko na bumabagsak dahil sa ganyang kalakaran … pautang na kulang o walang collateral … kaya meron law sa ganyan dahil masama para sa depositing public … kaya kinakailangan na matigil ang ganyang kalakaran … politics or not, a behest loan is a behest loan!!!!

        Tama lang naman ang ginawa ng nagpakamatay na manager … dapat yan ang ginagawa ng mga nagkasala … gaya sa Japan!!!

  • Richard Ortega

    he must be jail with porky the thief…

  • johndcross1

    DO NOT repeat DO NOT allow him to travel!!  No need to explain……..

  • E Rigby

    Mr. Ongpin is no better than the other corrupt people in government.  Don’t let the dignified looks fool you.  Beneath that front is a man who won’t hesitate to enrich himself whenever an opportunity arises. 

    As they say, “behind every story of great wealth is a story of a great crime.”  That certainly applies to Mr. Ongpin and a number of his associates past and present.

  • joerizal

    Ok next!!!!  Meron bang hindi magnanakaw sa gubyerno? Mukhang lahat kayo magnanakaw !!!!

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