Ongpin wants graft raps junked

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Businessman Roberto Ongpin. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Businessman Roberto Ongpin has asked the courts to dismiss the graft charges against him and 24 current and former officials of the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), reiterating that the loans he obtained from the state-owned bank had been fully paid and, as such, could not be considered behest.

In a press statement, Ongpin’s lawyer said the Sandiganbayan antigraft court had given “due course” to Ongpin’s request, having ordered that a hearing be conducted on May 7 to determine if the government’s charges against him had merit.

In an order dated April 23, 2013, the Sandiganbayan 3rd Division directed the conduct of a public hearing to determine if there was probable cause when the Ombudsman filed an information for two counts of graft against Ongpin and 24 codefendants, including former DBP president and CEO Reynaldo David.

Ongpin’s counsel Alex Poblador said the public hearing would “thoroughly ventilate before the general public the contentious issues in the case.”

The Ombudsman earlier filed graft charges against Ongpin and the DBP officials because of two allegedly behest loans totaling P660 million that the DBP had extended to an Ongpin company in 2009.

The funds were used to acquire the Philex Mining Corp. shares of the DBP, which were then sold to businessman Manuel Pangilinan, who ended up controlling the country’s largest gold and copper mining firm. Having made a quick profit, Ongpin then repaid the loan to the DBP ahead of its maturity.

The government and Ongpin’s critics allege that the DBP management at the time had approved the loan in haste.

Ongpin insisted that at the transaction was aboveboard and had earned hefty profits for the bank.

“Those two loans can never be considered behest as they have been paid with interest well before their maturity,” Poblador said.

Ongpin’s lawyer added that the funds borrowed from the DBP constituted only 17 percent of the total financing that his client had raised since 2007 to accumulate his Philex holdings. With a report from Miguel R. Camus

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  • Ako_Hiking

    If you want graft charges dropped and want to escape any sort of prosecution the best way about it is to be part of Aquino’s KKK. If you are not then good luck to you but your best bet is to join Aquino and cozy up to him and if he likes you then he’ll find some way to get you out of any jam.

  • Anqui

    Mr. Ongpin, the issue here is not whether the loan is paid and how much the government bank made from the loan, but HOW you sir took out the loan with the ILLEGAL help of Mr. David and company.

  • KappaPhiPhi

    if you compare ongpin’s loan to zamora’s loan, ongpin’s was 560 M and zamora’s was 3 bil. yung kay bob bayad na, zamora’s loan made at the onset of nunez term was restructured several times and not a single penny put into it for payment. yung isa friend of mike . yung isa a major campaign contributor of this admin. it will just go back to the legal interpretation of behest loans.

  • cabcog

    As mentioned in other news, O took home 160M for selling the PX shares of DBP. DBP and O knew very much that MVP was very interested to acquire and get majority interest/seat in the board of PX. This was announced when MVP solicited additional capital for it’s holding company based in HK. DBP 24 should know this or else they should confess their negligence. Hence, DBP should have negotiated directly with MVP instead of selling the PX holdings to O. I speculate that there is possible collusion between these parties aside from the fact that DBP provided a loan to O who has no sufficient collateral security at the time of the loan. Technically, a bank should not give a loan without the sufficient collateral cover (i.e. O should at least provide 1.0B value of shares as collateral cover for the 510M loan instead of only the value of the same PX shares bought from DBP). Shares of stock as collateral is discounted by 50%, according to BSP rules, in consideration of the volatility of the share prices (be it a bear or bull market) used as collateral. These rules are put in place to protect the depositors and the public from unforeseen risks and uncertainties which were apparently waived/disregarded to favor someone. Who could have predicted that the transaction of O with MVP would turn profitable? What if O wasn’t able to repay the loan because of the losses incurred on the purchase of PX? These are the uncertainties that the rules try to address. Also, why didn’t DBP directly negotiated the sale with MVP who is obviously eyeing those which another bank would do. It should have been a red flag for DBP that O is so eager to buy the shares and asked such question to O. As you know, the transaction allowed O to acquire the PX shares on credit and got home with the huge profit which should have gone to gov’t coffers at such a short span.

  • eight_log

    A behest loan is still a behest loan … paid up or not!!!

  • joboni96

    we want ongpin in prison and
    profits confiscated

    tama na pagsasamantala ng mga intsik switik
    sa pera ng pilipino

  • otoling

    Guilty itong si Ongpin. Dinumihan mo na ang public process saka mo sasabihin bayad naman, kaya wala ng ang criminal act. Hinde. Malaking hinde.
    Matapus mong kurusin ang bawal na linya saka mo sasabihin bumalik naman ako.

  • marionics

    tangina noong panahon pa ni koymaks nagpapakasasa ito e

  • True Thinker

    As usual, whenever there is a big fish being investigated for obvious Economic Misconduct, it always gets away.

    Question:
    How much was given this time…….

    Name me at least 1 big fish from the Marcos administration or Cronies that ever went to jail. (NONE)…..

    How many small fishes that stole less than a Million Pesos that ever went Jail. (LOTS OF THEM).

    So the creed for one if to steal, make sure it is done Big Time, in order for that person to have enough to pay officials off and not go to jail…………

    • NAGMAMARUNONG

      onli en da pilipins…

  • watsupdoc

    How can we attract foreign investment when our government is attacking our own businessmen who are politically connected with the previous administration. The perception is vindictiveness. No wonder there are no takers for the big ticket projects under the PPP.

    • ernievictory

      huh ? saan kweba ka nagtatago ? no takers ng big projects pala ah . tanungin mo nga sina manny pangilinan , zobel-ayala , aboitiz, ramon ang at iba pang well respected businessmen kung hindi sila interasado sa PPP projects ng gobyerno.

      hindi bale na yang roberto ongpin mo. big businessman kuno na mahilig sa quick money at pang daraya para makuha ang pera ng mga pinoy . examples DBP scandal at binondo black market….

      • watsupdoc

        Manny Pangilinan has more investment in HK and is looking at other countries to invest. Ramon Ang dropped his airport multi-billion project and has invested heavily in Malaysia. Other big Filipino businessmen are looking at Vietnam, Cambodia and even Mynanmar to invest. Only big time oligarchs like the Ayalas, Lopezes, and the Aboitizes stick with whoever sits in Malacanang because of vested interests. Pray tell me can you please list the on going PPP projects undertaken so far after 3 years under P-noy administration?

      • sigena

        ayala malaking investment sa china thru imi.marami silang electronics factories doon. doon kasi ang pera

      • ernievictory

        mvp’s co is hk based so investing there comes naturally. you said smc dropped it’s airport project . so what if true.ang is still expanding the smc empire to satisfy the growing economy of the country.

        some philiipine firms are investing in vietnam and newly opened markets , good for them so the pinoy brand will be known there. but did you notice the koreans ,japanenese , americans etc coming in here too or you just refuse to believe that we are making progress.

        you do your own research as to other billions of pesos worth PPP projects up for bidding and perhaps you will learn . hopefully. hint: google PPPs , philippines.

        lastly , doon sa mga nababagalan sa takbo ng PPPs.
        ‘better to be cautious than to be sorry’ abueva

      • Mazza02

        Mga business man na minention mo ang rason kung bakit naghihirap ang pinas. Dahil alck of local investments and they use illegally obtained money from Filipino people (thorugh various means such as non payment of taxes, illegal stealing of public funds, illegally taking out money against BSP rules, underpayment of workers, etc.).
        If there is really nothing for these businessmen in the Philippines, they would have left a long time ago as they can leave anytime per hindi. Why? kasi they use Philippines to get money that they then ivnest in other countries mostly China and not our country. They are leeches to society or waht economists call rent seekers.

        As for PPP projects, the reason it has taken so long is because for the first time, govt procurement is following due process. It takes a looooong time to change the previous culture of corruption.

      • Mazza02

        Tama ka….mga “binondo central bank” businessmen marami nagsasamantala.

    • http://information555.blog94.fc2.com/ xfileFC2

      Matuwid na Daan says it All!!!! Love this quote from The Untouchables.
      [about finding an incorruptible recruit] If you’re afraid of getting a rotten apple, don’t go to the barrel. Get it off the tree!

    • Mazza02

      Foreign businessmen do not care if the current administration is consolidating its power by going after previous admin cronies. This is done all over the world. As long as there is consistent policies toward them, they don’t care as they are able to plan for eventualities. However at this point there is no witch hunt only enforcement of laws that have existed since before arroyo or the current president.

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