Ongpin: CA freeze order unjustified

Ex-trade minister to pay legal expenses of DBP execs caught in ‘vendetta’



The lawyer of business tycoon Roberto Ongpin on Saturday said the Court of Appeals’ order freezing Ongpin’s bank accounts is “totally without basis and completely unjustified.”

Lawyer Rodolfo Ma. Ponferrada said the appellate court was misled by the Anti-Money Laundering Council’s (AMLC) application for a freeze order which he said was full of “inaccuracies and wrong information.”

In a Dec. 6 order, the Court of Appeals, acting on an AMLC request, ordered a temporary 20-day freeze on 100 bank accounts of Ongpin, who is being investigated on charges that he obtained preferential loans from the state-owned Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).

The government contends that the loans to Ongpin were fast-tracked without sufficient protection for the state bank. It also said the DBP was deprived of the chance to make hefty profits because Ongpin had used the loan proceeds to buy the DBP’s Philex Mining Corp. shares, which he turned around and sold at a premium to another business tycoon, Manuel V. Pangilinan.

“To begin with, there clearly was no undue injury to the government,” Ponferrada said.

“The P412.5 million in trading gains that DBP was alleged to have been deprived had it sold directly to Manny Pangilinan is purely speculative. And at that time there were no assurances that a sale at the P21 price would be concluded,” he said.

“Then and now, the DBP had no deal with Mr. Pangilinan. The negotiations were purely between Mr. Ongpin and Mr. Pangilinan,” Ponferrada said.

Ponferrada also pointed out that the Office of the Ombudsman, which investigated the Ongpin loan case, had in a Sept. 24, 2012 resolution, dropped all other graft charges including the claim for undue injury against his client.

“And to date, no criminal case has been filed against Mr. Ongpin in any court,” he said.

“There being no financial injury to DBP and to the government, there is therefore no reason to freeze the bank accounts of Mr. Ongpin as there is nothing which government seeks to recover,” Ponferrada said.

Even the Senate investigations last year into Ongpin’s alleged behest loans found no evidence to recommend the criminal prosecution of Ongpin, his lawyer said.

“The so-called behest loan charges against Mr. Ongpin is incorrect as both these loans have been fully paid with interest well before their maturity,” Ponferrada said.

“It is settled in jurisprudence that for a loan to be behest, it must be nonperforming, delinquent or in default,” he said.

Finally, Ponferrada said the freeze order was improper as it was made ex parte, that is, without notice being given to Ongpin or his lawyer.

He also said that the freeze order covered not only Ongpin but some 30 other persons.

“Under the applicable rules of procedure, we have 20 days within which to have the temporary order lifted. We will file the appropriate motion on Monday,” Ponferrada said.

Meanwhile, Ongpin on Saturday said he would pay for the legal expenses of all the dismissed DBP officials and employees whom he described as “innocent bystanders” caught up in a “vendetta” against him.

“I found out that the 13 DBP employees had been fired because of this supposed crime, which is totally nonexistent,” he said in a telephone interview.

Earlier this week, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales dismissed 13 officials and employees of the DPB for their alleged participation in granting the loans to Ongpin in 2009.

“They’re innocent bystanders in this case against me. I’m prepared to help, definitely. They’re getting into trouble because of the vendetta against me,” Ongpin said.

He stressed that he was being persecuted for a “nonexistent” crime, pointing out that the DBP was never at risk with the loans he took out because of the collateral he had put up.

The loan was repaid ahead of schedule, earning for the bank P1.4 billion in profits, he said.

Ponferrada said the appellate court freeze order was just the latest in a continuing persecution of the former Marcos trade minister, the country’s ninth richest man according to Forbes Magazine, because of his close association with Jose Miguel Arroyo, the husband of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

“My client is prepared to vigorously oppose this pattern of persecution in all fora,” he said.

At a Senate hearing last year, Ongpin defended his relationship with Arroyo’s husband. He said Jose Miguel was his friend before his wife became president in 2001. “But friendship does not mean I was his crony,” he said.

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    >>>“To begin with, there clearly was no undue injury to the government,” Ponferrada said<<<

    The message is:  So long as there is no UNDUE INJURY to the government you can do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING your heart desires.  No wonder naka-limas ng isang tambak na kwarta itong si ONGPIN na panahon pa ni Makoy ay gumagarnatsa na.  Sa antas ng kanyang buhay, konting pag-aalanganin lamang ay sapat ng imbistigahan ng masinsinan ang kanyang mga pinaggagawa.  Yon lang Central Bank sa Chinatown noon na maaari nyang ipagka-ila na kasangkot siya, mahirap maniwala na wala siyang kinalaman doon.  'Ika nga, kung may usok, may sunog.

  • Horst Manure

    Another wheel chair sale coming up.

  • Albert Einstien

     it is akin to ” IMPOSSIBLE CRIME “….

  • $20733759

    CA decision is substantially correct since the defense theory of personal vendetta is but a self-serving/baseless conclusion .Recall just recently, 16 officers and members of DBP’s management/board were charged for offenses related to Ongpin’s wheeling and dealing with that bank during GMA’s term. Sabi nga ni Atty.Agaton, may prima facie case na on the only issue which is…was it a preferential loan or not?

  • EdgarEdgar

    Congratulations to Manny Pangilinan for coming out unscathed by all this. It helps to own PDI and TV5, which can hurt the administration if they come too close.

    • jga94

      I thought MVP bought the shares at premium price….so papaano sya mananagot? Ano nanaman kinalaman ng administration dito…..this behest loan was during the time of Arroyo….konting logic naman

      • EdgarEdgar

        Premium price? Do some more research. You are under no obligation to read my post. I am under no obligation to spoon feed you with information. You and you alone are responsible for your mental laziness. Google and you shall find.

      • jga94

        Well some of us have real jobs….jobs which are not associated with politics, business or media…so yes, I have a tendency to rely maybe a bit too much on news articles….but I hardly have the luxury of time to fact check what is written on the news…I just want to be at least aware of some of the more pressing events in this country…….kaya nga media is very powerful.

        You–on the other hand— seem to be very invested in pointing out the deficiencies of the present govt….you have sooo many posts….eh bakit hindi mo ba lubos-lubosin….

        Yung word na “premium price” I got from the article above….isa-isahin ko pa ba kung tama lahat ng nakasulat…hindi ko naman dissertation ito….

      • Ding


  • Sandiego

    Get all these chinks money. These chinks made the money illegally. So take it back. Bankrupt all these Chinks. Their money belongs to PHL not them. Their not Filipinos. Get Tan’s money to. He got his wealth during Marcos time. Take all their money. Put all these corrupt chinks in prison and take their money. And those Filipinos (Arroyo) that helps these corrupt chinks should go to jail to. Hate the flat head chinks. Get rid of them

  • KuyaDikongMakabayan

    wala naman masama dun. nangutang lang sya sa dbp, at pagkatapos yung inutang nya, pinambili nya ng shares ng dbp sa mining. ala naman kagaguhan dun, di ba attorney? parang kang nagpautang sa isang tao ng malaking halaga, para mabili nya kotse mo-tapos ibebenta nya kotse mo sa mas mataas na halaga, me kita na sya, nabayaran ka pa nya. di ka naman muakng tanga nun di ba? saan ka ba kumuha ng abogasya? 

    • raul n

      yes walang masama sa utang na binayaran naman nya but if you had read the previous information regarding this loan there was something fishy because the corporation used in borrowing the multimillion loan has only few million pesos in capital. in other words the loan exposure of dbp was very risky and not within the norms of any banking practice in extending loans to borrower.

  • wakats

    Ongpin gained P425M at the expense of 13 currently-employed DBP officials and employees who were dismissed administratively from the service by the ombudsman with the attendant penalty of forfeiture of benefits, among others, for facilitating the release of ongpin’s loan of P660M.

    The ombudsman cited insufficient collaterals and under capitalization of the borrower, deviation of use of loan proceeds, non-feasibility of the project for which financing was sought, and extra-ordinary speed in which the loan release was made.

    Apart from the unfortunate 13, another 5 separated DBP officials who also participated in the transaction are altogether facing criminal charges in the sandiganbayan.


    • jga94

      Bakit kawawa? I mean not unless clerical lang yung job…everyone who had something to do with questionable transactions like these ought to be heald liable for it…otherwise, ulit-ulit na lang. Ang sad ay kapag yung mga mas maliliit lang yung eventually nananagot at hindi yung mga masterminds….

  • JudgeJuanDeLaCruz

    Was Mike Arroyo behind this deal? Could this be the reason why the present administration is pursuing Ongpin? 

    Mike Arroyo indeed screwed up the country! 

  • $25214711

    Yung Central bank sa elcolta nung panahon ni marcos na sinasabi ni Enrile na si Ongpin ay kasabwat bakit hindi nya paimbestigahan kung talagang sincero syang tumulong sa bayan.

  • jga94

    I do not know details of this sordid affair….but from what I have read…
    1. Ongpin borrowed money from DBP to purchase DBP’s shares of Philex
         That sounds weird right off the bat….why let someone buy one’s own assets using one’s own money? When one gets a loan, isn’t it required that they have some sort of business plan or something plus collateral?…I am not a businessman…Magkano ba binili yung shares? Baka naman mas mababa sa prevailing prices nya….eh fishy talaga iyon…

    2. MVP buys these shares at a premium

    Nabili ba agad?How long between time Ongpin bought the shares and time MVP bought them?Can’t MVP buy or offer to buy directly from DBP?Or maybe these weren’t really for sale in the first place….

    I mean just with the two events….talaga namang this deal smells of rotten fish…

  • jga94

    Eto na naman ang mga magagaling na lawyers na walang morals…kung ano-ano namang palusot….namilosopo pa….nagkainteres naman daw yung DBP….haaaay naku….marami sigurong lawyers sa impyerno

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