I write in reaction to an item in Bizz Buzz “titled Ongpin-Ashmore battle royale” (Inquirer, 7/15/13). In fairness to the Ashmore Group and myself, I believe it is incumbent upon me to correct and put into perspective the comments made by Inquirer reporter Daxim Lucas. In the article, which is generally accurate in most [...]
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.