After succeeding in the bid to deny ABS-CBN’s franchise application, President Rodrigo Duterte’s son has joined forces with six other lawmakers to investigate the P1.6-billion worth of loans that the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) allegedly wrote off in favor of the Lopezes.
Davao City Rep. Paolo Duterte has filed House Resolution 1040 asking the House committee on good government and public accountability to investigate the loans condoned in favor of Lopez-owned companies.
Duterte was joined in filing the resolution by ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Eric Yap, Dumper PTDA party-list Rep. Claudine Diana Bautista, Anakalusugan party-list Rep. Mike Defensor, Sagip party-list Rep. Rodante Marcoleta, and Cavite Reps. Elpidio Barzaga and Jesus Crispin Remulla.
All seven lawmakers voted against granting ABS-CBN a new franchise.
In 2011, the late journalist Neal Cruz revealed that the DBP granted behest loans amounting to around P1.6 billion to companies owned by or used to belong to the Lopez family. These are:
Maynilad Water—P710.86 million
Central CATV Inc.—P207.10 million
Benpres Holdings—P157. 95 million
Duterte and his colleagues said the P1.6-billion loans that DBP allegedly wrote off in favor of Lopez-owned companies could’ve been used by the government to fund programs addressing the COVID-19 crisis.
“[T]he details of this condonation or write-off are as yet unknown to the public at large, despite the fact that this particular transaction could have cost the Filipino people PhP1.6 billion,” they said.