Ombudsman Morales OKs filing of raps vs ex-DBP execsBy Tetch Torres
MANILA, Philippines–Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales on Wednesday gave the go signal to prosecute officials of the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) in connection with the grant of two loans worth a total of P660 million in 2009 to Delta Ventures Resources Inc. (DVRI).
In a Review Resolution released to the public Wednesday found enough basis to file with the Sandiganbayan a case for violation of the Anti-graft law against former DBP officers Patricia Sto. Tomas, former Chairman; Reynaldo David, former President & Vice-Chairman; former Directors Alexander Magno, Floro Oliveros, Miguel Romero, Franklin Velarde, Renato Velasco and Joseph Donato Pangilinan; Edgardo Garcia, former Senior Executive Vice President (SEVP) & Chief Operating Officer; Armando Samia, former SEVP & Head of Marketing Sector;
Rolando Geronimo, former SEVP; Perla Soleta, former Senior Assistant Vice President (SAVP); Jesus Guevarra II, former SEVP & Marketing Head of the Brach Banking Sector (BBS); Crescencia Bundoc, former VP & Head of Regional Marketing Center-Metro Manila (RMC-MM); Arturo Baliton, BBS Manager for RMC-Western Luzon; Nelson Macatlang, RMC-WL Chief Accounts Management specialist; Marissa Cayetano, RMC-MM Assistant Manager; and (ii) private individuals Roberto Ongpin, DVRI General Manager; Josephine Manalo, DVRI President; and Ma. Lourdes Torres, treasurer of Goldenmedia Corporation (GMC).
Ombudsman Morales also found probable cause to file a separate graft case against Sto. Tomas, David, Magno, Oliveros, Romero, Velarde, Velasco, Garcia, Samia, Geronimo, Soleta, Guevarra, Bundoc, Baliton, Ongpin, Manalo, Torres along with Ramon Durano IV, former DBP director; Benedicto Ernesto Bitonio Jr., former EVP and Head of Finance Sector; Teresita Tolentino, former AVP; Rodolfo Cerezo, RMC-MM Assistant Manager; and Warren De Guzman, RMC-MM Assistant Manager, for the grant of a P510 million loan to DVRI.
The charges against Benilda Tejada, Josephine Jaurique and Justice Lady Flores were dismissed for insufficiency of evidence.
In a 43-page, the Ombudsman partially granted Velasco’s motion and recommended the dismissal of the criminal charges against him in relation to the grant of the P150,000 loan to DVRI, as “the subject facility was processed and approved sometime in April 2009”, while he only became a Director of the bank on 04 November 2009.The Order however affirmed the Office’ finding of probable cause against him for violation of Sec. 3(e) of RA 3019 in relation to the grant of the P510,000 loan to DVRI.
The Order however denied the motions filed by DBP and the other respondents. It reiterated that “the loans were behest as they conform to some of the criteria in determining whether a loan is behest, laid down in Memorandum No. 61 dated 09 November 1992,namely: a) DVRI was undercapitalized; b) the loans were undercollateralized; c) the project subject of the loans was not legally feasible; d) there was a resort to corporate layering; e) there was extraordinary speed in the processing and release of the loans; f) respondent Ongpin was a crony of respondent David; and g) DVRI’s loans were approved at the behest of respondent David, a highly-placed Senior Officer of the State-owned bank.”
The case stemmed from the complaint filed in 2011 by DBP through its chairman, Jose Nuñez, and its president and chief executive officer, Francisco Del Rosario, Jr. for violation of the anti-graft law and other banking regulations. The loan was allegedly granted under relaxed concessions allegedly used in the purchase of DBP-owned shares in Philex Mining Corporation.