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By Ramon Farolan
Last month we were treated to a fascinating 2-part series on Roberto Ongpin, trade minister during the Marcos years from 1979-1986. While I served under Finance Minister Cesar E.A. Virata, who was also the prime minister under an interim parliamentary system established in 1978, I had the opportunity to interact with Ongpin on a number of issues that involved trade and customs matters. I was dealing with two completely different personalities, but I had no doubt they were both men of integrity and courage who did their best serving the nation under difficult circumstances.
By Conrado de Quiros
Serge Osmeña and Sonny Belmonte are aghast. After Juan Ponce Enrile, comes now Roberto Ongpin revising history. In an interview with the Inquirer run during the 27th anniversary of Edsa, Ongpin felt emboldened enough to claim a couple of things. One was that Ferdinand Marcos and not Cory Aquino actually won the snap election, and two was that he actually did the Philippines a favor by putting up the so-called “Binondo Central Bank” after Ninoy Aquino was murdered and money began to fly out of the country.
I refer to the Inquirer articles dated Aug. 23, 2011 and Nov. 17, 2012 (“Ongpin seeks disbarment of bank spokesperson” and “Ongpin to appeal CA ruling”). Both articles, written by Daxim Lucas, reported on the disbarment case filed against me by Roberto Ongpin. Please be informed that, under Section 10, Rule 139 of the Rules of Court, disbarment proceedings are confidential in nature. The rationale behind this is that a lawyer’s reputation, upon which rests his career, should not be unduly tarnished by the public announcement of disbarment cases until a final judgment is obtained.
I refer to the statement of BSP Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla’s lawyer that his client is being “persecuted” by me, because he has been singled out of the 3-man Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC). I find this statement “amusing.” I understand very well that the AMLC is a collegial body, but of the three officials in it, only Espenilla, during the Senate hearings of last year, stated under oath that the DBP loans to me were “prudent,” “positive” and made a lot of money for the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP). That is obviously why I singled him out.
The filing of criminal complaints last week against ranking officials of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Anti-Money Laundering Council again illustrates the risks that public officials face. It’s not that all those in government are scrupulous. It’s just that complaints against public officials are not that common and many are intended to harass the accused.
By Rigoberto Tiglao
The Anti-Money Laundering Law (AMLC), amended in 2003, was enacted mainly to prevent organized crime and global terrorists from using the banking system. President Aquino however has debased it, turning it into his deadly weapon against his enemies.
The Dec. 23, 2011 Inquirer issue carried a letter from a certain Abelardo Z. Enrique, titled “Lopez group’s loans: an attempt to divert heat from Ongpin.”
The Nov. 14 column of Neal H. Cruz tackled the supposed “unfairness” of the law that allows banks to write off bad debts. Cruz was particularly referring to the 2006 write-offs made by the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) on the equity and investment loans of Lopez Holdings.
I AM neither an accountant nor a mathematician nor an investment banker. But I am curious, extremely curious, about the Dec. 12 news report on Bobby Ongpin’s bank loan.
I have noticed that the Inquirer seems to be giving too much prominence to the developments in the ongoing inquiry into the purportedly “behest DBP (Development Bank of the Philippines) loan” and “insider trading” involving businessman Roberto Ongpin. In fact, sometimes I even imagine that the Inquirer is just providing Ongpin with a venue to [...]
Amando Doronila, one of the more perceptive journalists this country has ever produced, has written an “analysis” which was obviously biased against me. (Inquirer, 10/17/11) Since I have a very high regard for Doronila, I am saddened that his “analysis” regarding my current battle with certain senators and with the present DBP management is, in [...]
Granted that the unfortunate suicide of a young lawyer at the Development Bank of the Philippines gave not only everyone involved but also the interested public a shock. Granted that the suicide indicated worrisome aspects of the investigation of P660 million in loans extended during the Arroyo administration to a company owned by Roberto Ongpin. [...]