DBP execs face plunder complaint over allegedly excessive bonuses
OFFICIALS of the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) are facing a plunder complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman over their excessive bonuses amounting to P312 million in 2014.
According to the complaint filed by DBP vice president Mario Pagaragan Jr. and Atty. Francis Romulo Badilla, Jr., the following officials were given performance-based bonuses in excess of the amount allowed by law:
-Chairman of the DBP Board of Directors, Jose Nuñez Jr.,
-DBP President and CEO Gil Buenaventura
-Director Reynaldo Geronimo,
– Director Daniel Y. Laogan,
– Director Lydia Echauz,
– Director Alberto A. Lim,
-Director Raul O. Serrano,
-Director Vaughn F. Montes, and
– Director Cecilio B. Lorenzo
Also included in the plunder complaint are officials from the GCG or Governance Commission for Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCC)—Cesar L. Villanueva, Ma. Angela E. Ignacio, Ranier B. Butalid and Paolo E. Salvosa.
“Said officials, allegedly in connivance with other Top Officials of DBP and Officials of the GCG, illegally conspired to defraud the Filipino People and the Philippine Government by disposing of money owned by the Philippine Government in the total amount of P312.077 million,” the complainants said in a statement.
The GCG in a memorandum circular allows the grant of performance-based incentives to profitable government firms. The maximum allowed bonus is 2.5 times their basic salaries.
But the complainants said the GCG gave DBP officials bonuses 12 times their basic salaries.
The complainants said DBP President Buenaventura received P2.798 million in performance-based bonus for the year 2014.
The complaints also said GCG officials violated Section 10 of Republic Act No. 10149 or the GCG Law, which allows the commission to recommend to the President incentives for certain position titles in consideration of the good performance of the GOCC.
The complainants said the GCG Officials acted with grave abuse of authority and in excess of their authority in granting the excessive bonuses.
The DBP executives are also facing a separate graft complaint over an alleged “wash sale” of P14.3 billion government securities that incurred actual losses amounting to P717 million.
In an interview after the filing of the complaint, Atty. Badilla said he found it unacceptable that the officials who allowed the wash sale that resulted in losses to government are rewarded with fat bonuses.
“If you look at the performance-based bonus, it should be based on actual performance. Bakit yung nagpalugi sa gobyerno, mayroon pa ring bonus?” Badilla said.
Badilla said the complaint is for plunder because the respondents received for personal benefit an aggregate amount of bonuses above the P50-million threshold.
Badilla said the grant of excess bonuses has been going on in the DBP for three years already, but their complaint only included the additional incentive for the year 2014.
“We are also asking the concerned authorities to look into the other GOCC. This is not limited to DBP… (The grant of fat bonuses) is prevalent in the GOCC sector and the GCG knows this very well,” Badilla said.
For his part, Pagaragan said the GCG should be liable for granting the excess bonuses without the approval of the President.
“The GCG abrogated upon themselves the power of the President to approve incentives beyond what was stated in the GCG guidelines… Under the GOCC law, only the President has the power to approve additional incentives,” Pagaragan said.
Other DBP officials in the plunder complaint are:
– Fritzie P. Tangkia-Fabricante,
-Donna P. Shotwell,
-Ma. Teresa M. Jesudason,
-Ma. Teresa T. Atienza,
-Anthony T. Robles,
-Perla Melanie C. Caraan,
-Rafael Danilo Ranil M. Reynante,
-Cris S. Cabalatungan,
-Susan Z. Prado,
-Alexander A. Patricio,
-Dennis D. Decena,
-Marietta M. Fondevilla,
-Isidro Sobrecarey, and
-other members of the DBP Management Committee
In a statement, the DBP Board and management called the complainants “disgruntled” employees because they were not given fat bonuses.
The DBP said the bonuses were granted for 2,201 eligible employees because of DBP’s 2014 financial performance of P4.6 billion in profit, P2.5 billion were remitted to the national treasury as dividends.
“The Board of Directors and the Management of the Development Bank of the Philippines dispute the charges that two disgruntled employees hurled against the bank’s directors and officers in relation to its Performance Based Bonus,” DBP said in a statement.
“The charges were filed by two disgruntled employees of the bank, one of whom did not get any bonus because his performance appraisal did not make him eligible for the bonus, while the other received significantly less than what he got the previous year, again because of his performance ranking,” it added.