• Charges in PNB behest loan filed after 41 years

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    More than 40 years after the alleged crime was committed, state fiscals have filed corruption charges against former government officials in connection with a P150-million behest loan that a former state bank extended to an underperforming company.

    The Office of the Ombudsman submitted to the Sandiganbayan separate corruption charges against Troadio Quiazon Jr., former Trade and Industry minister of deposed dictator Ferdinand Marcos, and Manuel Morales, a member of erstwhile state-run Philippine National Bank (PNB).

    Also charged were private individuals Rosita Alberto, Kaulayaw Faylon, Rolando Estacio, Rosalinda San Miguel, Jose Alberto Jr., Jose Alberto 2nd, Rosa Alma Adia and Innocencio Ferrer, all of Moonwalk Development and Housing Corp.

    Records show that the PCGG filed the complaint after it found that, a P150-million PNB loan was approved for Moonwalk in 1972.

    Moonwalk’s existing securities, however, were only worth P23.2 million.

    Ordinarily, securities offered as collateral should exceed the amount of the loan.

    Even though Moonwalk only took out P37.7 million from the total allowable P150 million, “the security was still insufficient,” investigators said.

    The loan approval “was to the clear disadvantage of the government,” the Ombudsman resolution read.

    The Ombudsman charge sheet added that Moonwalk was undercapitalized for only having P2 million of paid-up capital.

    Also, the P37.7 million was not used from its intended purpose.

    Moonwalk, by agreement, would use P14.5 million to pay a loan with the Social Security System (SSS); P16.5 million for the redemption of options to buy raw lands; and P119 million for development cost.

    The PCGG found that the money was used to pay P15.5 million for an SSS loan; P10.4 million for the purchase of 104 shares of Altaville minority stockholders; P9.5 million for paid advances made Alberto Enterprises, an affiliate of Moonwalk; and P92,605.25 for paid registration and documentation fees.

    “As the poor credit standing of Moonwalk was so obvious, the PNB could have not granted the loan without any inducement from the corporation,” the resolution read.

    Despite this, the bank still passed a resolution approving the P150-million loan to Moonwalk.

    Missing, dead
    In 2011, the Ombudsman’s Field Investigation Office filed a supplemental complaint wherein graft investigators stated that “service of the orders [for the defendants to file counter-affidavits]was unsuccessful.”

    The process servers either could not locate the given address of the accused, the addressee is unknown at the given address, the accused moved without leaving forwarding address and the person is no longer connected with his office address.

    The Ombudsman noted that “time has elapsed and that most of the respondents can no longer be located despite diligent effort.”

    Former PNB president Panfilo Domingo, an accused, was already found to be dead after his lawyer showed prosecutors the respondent’s death certificate.

    Still, the Ombudsman resolved the two cases and found that the respondents are liable for two counts of graft.

    The Ombudsman said that despite “obvious signs” that the loan “carries a badge of a behest loan,” Quiazon and Manuel still “ignored the red flags” and approved it.

    It added that Moonwalk officers “were in cahoots” with the public officials when they digressed from the laid-down purpose of the loan.

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