Binay: No evidence vs De Castro | Inquirer News

Binay: No evidence vs De Castro

Vice president and concurrent chair of the Housing Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Jejomar Binay said there’s no evidence that would link his predecessor former vice president Noli de Castro to the multibillion-peso anomalies at the Home Development Mutual Fund, also known as Pag-Ibig Fund, involving a housing firm.

Binay made the statement in a news briefing on Tuesday at the VIP lounge of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport terminal 2 upon his arrival from the United States where he attended a two-week course on Senior Executives in National and International Security (NIS) at Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts.


“The evidence that we have at the moment do not link him (De Castro) to the anomaly. We have no evidence,” Binay said.

Serge O warning


Binay was reacting to queries why De Castro who was then chair of Pag-Ibig Fund was not among those charged in court for the questionable multibillion loans obtained by Globe Asiatique Realty Holdings Corp. owned by Delfin Lee.

“When it was presented to him by the board it could have been under the presumption that it has already been reviewed,” he said.

Sen. Sergio Osmeña III earlier warned that De Castro, as head of the Pag-Ibig board at the time it approved Globe Asiatique’s loan applications, could be liable for being part of the body that approved the loans.

“That amount? You could not let that go through board approval…There are several processes, internal rules that you have to follow in any financial organization, in any organization before giving the go-signal for a loan that big,” he said.

Osmeña said that loopholes in the banking system that allowed Globe Asiatique to acquire a P12 billion loan must be addressed via legislation to prevent a repeat.

Tighter bank rules

One measure being eyed by the Senate committee on banks, financial institutions and currencies that Osmeña chairs is the implementation of stricter monitoring requirements for the processing of large developer loans at Pag-Ibig where Globe Asiatique’s loans were obtained.


“We would also need tighter banking rules on due diligence and collection,” Osmeña said.

He said the committee was now in the process of drafting a report that would enumerate the loopholes that allowed Globe Asiatique to obtain huge loans under irregular circumstances.

However, Osmeña said he was still waiting for input from Pag-Ibig officials to orient him as to how the issues could be addressed through legislation.

Waiting for Pag-Ibig

“I am waiting for Pag-Ibig to teach me so that I will not pass a haphazard bill. Pag-Ibig might charge me later that I did not consult them,” Osmeña said.

However, he wants Pag-Ibig to concentrate first on prosecuting Lee and other Globe Asiatique officers.

“I want them to go to this process of indicting and trying Delfin Lee, then I will sit down with Pag-Ibig…probably in January, because we have too many things (to do) now,” Osmeña said.

Last week the Department of Justice approved the filing of a syndicated estafa case against Lee, his son Dexter and three associates of Globe Asiatique namely, Christine Sagun and Cristina Salagan.

Also indicted was Pag-Ibig Fund official Alex Alvarez.

Syndicated estafa is a nonbailable offense and punishable by life imprisonment.

Also recommended for “appropriate investigation” to the Office of the Ombudsman for possible violation of antigraft law were former Pag-Ibig Fund executives Romero Quimbo, Jaime Fabian, Tessie Gonzales, Rafael Albano and Vilma Flores.

Binay congratulated Justice Secretary Leila de Lima for her decisive action on his recommendation of the case against Lee and officers of Globe Asiatique.
Profound appreciation

“I want to express my profound appreciation and thanks to Secretary de Lima for acting promptly on my recommendation to prosecute certain parties involved in a large-scale housing anomalies that had victimized so many of our poor countrymen who had dealt with them in good faith,” Binay said.

The case stemmed from the allegedly anomalous loans granted by Pag-Ibig Fund to “ghosts borrowers” who allegedly bought properties from the firm’s housing projects in Pampanga.

“I am determined to make sure that nobody ever exploits our people’s needs to illegally enrich themselves,” Binay said.

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TAGS: Delfin Lee, Former vice president Noli de Castro, Globe Asiatique Realty Holdings Corp., Home Development Mutual Fund, Housing Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), Pag-Ibig Fund, syndicated estafa, Vice President Jejomar Binay
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