Ongpin a no-show at Senate hearing

Posted at 10/07/11 10:16 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Former trade minister Roberto Ongpin on Friday failed to appear before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee inquiry on allegations that one of his companies was able to secure a P660 million “behest loan” from the Development Bank of the Philippines leadership during the Arroyo administration.

Ongpin's lawyer, Alexander Poblador, said his client conveyed his regrets that he will be unable to attend because he has been out of the country since September 23.

He said Ongpin is willing to appear before the Senate inquiry when he returns on October 25.

Poblador urged the Senate to allow him to read Ongpin's statement, which was denied by Blue Ribbon Committee chairman Sen. Teofisto Guingona.

The Senate investigation stemmed from the filing last August 5, by the current DBP leadership, of criminal and administrative charges against DBP’s past Board of Directors in connection with the alleged P660 million behest loans that they granted to Ongpin’s company, Delta Ventures Resources Inc. (DVRI), to finance the latter’s acquisition of Philex Mining shares.