• 2 PhilExim execs face charges for P4.2-B loss

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    Two former officials of the Philippine Export and Foreign Loan Guarantee Corp.(PhilExim, formerly the Trade Investment Development Corp. or TIDCORP) face graft charges for the alleged loss suffered by the government amounting to P4.2 billion in connection with issuance of a loan guarantee in 2003 and 2004.

    Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales ordered the filing of a criminal information against former TIDCORP Executive Vice President Rolando Alonzo and Account Officer Teresita Cometa as well as five officers and shareholders of World Grannary Inc. (WGI) for violation of the Anti-Graft Law.

    Also facing charges are WGI representatives Alison Sy, Guillermo Sy, Derick Chester Sy, Renato Ang and Nena Ang.

    The Office of the Ombudsman said documents showed that in 2003, TIDCORP approved WGI’s request for a guarantee facility amounting to P1.80 billion payable in 10 years subject to several loan conditions.

    WGI, however, failed to pay its first interest payment on the loan and as a result of its continued default, TIDCORP as guarantor was constrained to pay the liabilities to the lender-banks.

    TIDCORP paid the banks P1.87 billion as of February 2012, the anti-graft office said.

    The corporation then conducted a transaction audit, which led to the discovery of “substantial irregularities” in the transaction.

    The audit findings were referred to the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel, which recommended the filing of criminal cases against Alonzo, Cometa and the WGI representatives.

    The resolution alleged that the government suffered undue injury in the total amount of P4,228,391,731.60 for unrealized/foregone revenue, interest, advances, service and other charges, penalty and gross tax receipts.

    It was Cometa and Alonzo’s duty to thoroughly evaluate and study WGI’s account, the Ombudsman said.

    “Based on evidence, Cometa and Alonzo were the ones who supplied the [TIDCORP] Board with erroneous, fraudulent and incomplete information, which were used as the basis for the Board’s approval,” she said.

    The anti-graft office said in its statement that WGI representatives were included in the charge sheet because examination of the circumstances of the case “clearly indicates that both the private and public respondents were involved in a scheme violative of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.”

    TIDCORP, a state-owned corporation, was designated in 2002 as the Philippine Export-Import Credit Agency (PhilEXIM) to beef up its role in the development and expansion of international trade and to effectively respond to the economic requirements of the country.

    Among its several functions are to promote and facilitate the entry of foreign loans into the country; guarantee loans granted by Philippine banking and financial institutions to qualified exporters, producers of export products and contractors with approved service contracts abroad and provide direct credits and loans to exporters of Philippine goods and services.

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