House to resume probe into alleged ‘condoned’ loans of Lopez firms from DBP
MANILA, Philippines — The House committee on good government and public accountability will resume on Feb. 17 its investigation into the alleged condonation by the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) of loans made by companies controlled or affiliated with the Lopez family.
Panel chair Michael Aglipay said the committee had suspended the hearing on the issue to allow DBP, the Lopez group of companies, and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to produce missing documents.
He said the committee had agreed to give the resource persons up to one month, or until Feb. 18, to accomplish the requirements.
However, Aglipay said Speaker Lord Allan Velasco had instructed the panel to continue the probe before Feb. 18.
“Sabi ko, ‘Speaker, kailangan kahit kaunting oras mabigyan natin kasi 15 years ago pa po itong mga papeles na ito’,” he said during the plenary session.
(I told the Speaker to give them a little time because these documents are from 15 years ago.)
“So napagkasunduan namin, in-instruction-an ko pa ‘yung committee secretary na i-prepare ang hearing sa Feb. 17,” Aglipay added.
(I instructed the committee secretary to set the hearing on Feb. 17.)
During the plenary session, Anakalusugan Rep. Mike Defensor urged the House to continue its probe on the alleged condoned loans of the Lopez group of companies after President Rodrigo Duterte, in a speech on Monday night, pointed out that the House stopped its probe when it touched on the Lopez family’s loans.
Duterte said he would instead pass the issue to the Office of the Ombudsman.
“There were so many investigations about banking except that pagdating kila – sa kila Lopez, huminto sila. So nagkakaroon tayo ng problema diyan. Dumating sa akin ito in official capacity. Ang magawa ko lang nito is I think I’ll pass it on to the Ombudsman. Para sa akin ang Ombudsman ang pinaka- independent body na mag-solve nito,” the President said.
The DBP earlier said it did not condone and did not write off P1.6 billion in loans to companies controlled or affiliated with the Lopez family that turned sour due to the lingering 1997 Asian financial crisis.
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