13 DBP officials sacked over Ongpin loan

Posted at 12/06/2012 11:23 AM | Updated as of 12/06/2012 5:08 PM

Charges vs David, Sto. Tomas, et al dismissed on a technicality

MANILA, Philippines - Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has ordered the dismissal of 13 officials of the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) in connection with the allegedly behest loans worth P660 million awarded to businessman Roberto Ongpin’s Delta Ventures Resources Inc. in 2009.

Former Directors Benedicto Ernesto Bitonio Jr., Alexander Magno, Renato Velasco, and Franklin Velarde; former Senior Executive Vice President (SEVP) & Chief Operating Officer Edgardo Garcia; former SEVP & Marketing Head of the Brach Banking Sector (BBS) Jesus Guevarra II; former VP & Head of Regional Marketing Center-Metro Manila (RMC-MM) Crescencia Bundoc; BBS Manager for RMC-Western Luzon Arturo Baliton; RMC-WL Chief Accounts Management specialist Nelson Macatlang; RMC-MM Assistant Manager Marissa Cayetano; former AVP Teresita Tolentino; RMC-MM Assistant Manager Rodolfo Cerezo; and RMC-MM Assistant Manager Warren de Guzman were found administratively liable for grave misconduct, among others.

The corresponding penalty also has accessory penalties of forfeiture of their retirement benefits, perpetual disqualification from holding public office and barring them from taking civil service examinations.

The DBP officials “deliberately participated in the haphazard and hurried processing and granting DVRI’s loans, though obviously aware of doubts regarding the borrower’s capacity to repay the loans, and the significant exposure facing he bank in relation thereto,” Morales said.

She added: “Despite the irregularities surrounding the DBP-DVRI transactions, they insisted that the loans were not objectionable since the bank allegedly made a substantial profit therefrom.”

Meanwhile, she ruled that the administrative charges against former President & Vice-Chairman Reynaldo David; former DBP Chairman Patricia Sto. Tomas; former Directors Joseph Donato Pangilinan, Miguel Romero , Floro Oliveros , and Ramon Durano; former SEVP & Head of Marketing Sector Armando Samia; former SEVP Rolando Geronimo; and former Senior Assistant Vice President (SAVP) Perla Soleta be dismissed since their separation from the service already preceded the filing of the complaint.

Nonetheless, they are already facing graft charges before the Sandiganbayan following a separate directive from Morales.

The Ombudsman found that the loans were behest in nature, since Ongpin’s firm was under-collateralized and undercapitalized. 

She said the private firm’s officials were also identified as cronies. She also noted the use of “corporate layering” and the non-feasibility of the project for which the financing is sought.

Morales also noted there was direct or indirect endorsement from high-ranking government officials.