OSG wants 14 DBP officials suspended over questioned loan to Ongpin | Inquirer Business

OSG wants 14 DBP officials suspended over questioned loan to Ongpin

/ 11:45 PM September 19, 2011

MANILA, Philippines—Government lawyers have asked the Office of Ombudsman to preventively suspend top officials of the Development Bank of the Philippines who are facing criminal complaints in connection with the alleged behest loans extended to businessman and former trade minister Roberto Ongpin.

The Office of the Solicitor General, representing the DBP, filed the motion seeking the suspension of 14 incumbent bank officials on Friday, so as not to jeopardize the investigation of the case.

The DBP officials are facing complaints of violation of the anti-graft law and civil service law, and of the DBP and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ rules and regulations.


“Respondents’ continued stay in office may prejudice the just, fair, independent disposition of the case filed against them,” the OSG said in its motion.


It contended that the allegations in the complaint and the attached documents showed that the evidence of guilt was strong.

Their preventive suspension would prevent them from using their position to influence potential witnesses or tamper with pertinent records, it added.

The officials that the OSG wanted suspended are DBP Director Franklin Velarde; chief operating officer Edgardo Garcia; marketing sector head Armando Samia; finance sector head Benedicto Bitonio; branch banking sector head Jesus Guevara II; chief legal counsel Benilda Tejada; banking sector marketing head Crescenciano Bundoc; credit review and policy supervision head Josephine Jaurigue;

Regional marketing center head Teresita Tolentino; branch banking manager Arturo Baliton; RMC Western Luzon Manager Marissa Cayetano; RMC Metro Manila assistant manager Rodolfo Cerezo; RMC Metro Manila assistant manager Warren De Guzman; and RMC Western Luzon chief accounts management specialist Nelson Macatlang.

In its motion, the OSG also said the facts of the case “clearly demonstrate a case of massive corruption which the present Government is determined to combat and eventually eradicate.”

It alleged that the officials had been partial to Ongpin and to Delta Ventures Resources Inc. by granting them undeserved loans in violation of banking rules and the DBP’s internal policies. One of the loans was also approved with extraordinary speed, it further alleged. The loans exposed the bank to high risk, it added.


The DBP had granted P510 million and P150 million loans to DVRI, which Ongpin used to head.

The OSG urged the Office of the Ombudsman to provide prompt and efficient means to act on the case.

“Those who participated in these anomalous transactions should not be allowed to escape liability with impunity,” it said.

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The investigation of the transactions allegedly led to the suicide of DBP documentation lawyer Benjamin Pinpin, who indicated in his suicide note that he was coerced into signing an affidavit implicating high officials of the DBP in the scam allegations.

TAGS: Banking, banks, behest loans, Development Bank of the Philippines, government corporations, graft and corruption, law and justice, Roberto V. Ongpin

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