MANILA, Philippine - Businessman Roberto V. Ongpin, one of the country's richest, slammed the policy making body of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) for deferring his confirmation as director of a commercial bank based on allegations that have yet to be filed in court.
Ongpin, himself a former member of the BSP's Monetary Board during the Marcos years, said in a December 28 letter to the current Monetary Board that he resigned as chairman of the Philippine Bank of Communications (PBCom) board since he didn't want the operations of the bank undermined and the depositors to lose confidence in the mid-sized bank.
The letter, disclosed by PBCom to the stock exchange on Thursday, January 3, and Ongpin's resignation was prompted by a letter of the Monetary Board to the bank officials, citing the confirmation of the bank's 7 board members.
His confirmation, on the other hand, was deferred due to his "alleged involvement in criminal cases filed with the Office of the Ombudsman."
"This is, in my view, tantamount to the Monetary Board declaring that I am not "Fit and Proper" to be a Director of PBCom," wrote Ongpin, acknowledging that he is "undoubtedly the most prominent director of the bank."
The Ombudsman has filed a case against Ongpin over his involvement in the P660 million loan extended by government-owned Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) to Ongpin-led firms to buy and sell shares of Philex Mining Corp. in 2009. The controversial transaction raked in huge profits for DBP, but more for the Ongpin group.
Ongpin said no case has been filed at the Sandiganbayan, the anti-graft court, after the Ombudsman's September action, thus "it would have been the right thing for the Monetary Board to have made this determination prior to its refusal to confirm my directorship at PBCom."
He also decried the December 2012 move by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to freeze his and other bank officials' bank accounts due to the DBP-Philex loan-and-shares transactions.
He said his "reputation, which I value above all else, has suffered greatly based on innuendos and unproven allegations." - Rappler.com
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