By Billy Begas
AnaKalusugan Rep. Michael Defensor urged officials of the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) to explain to President Rodrigo Duterte on what happened to the loans of companies connected to the Lopez family.
During the hearing of the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability, Defensor said that if DBP believes that there is nothing irregular on the P1.6 billion loans of companies identified with the Lopez family, they should explain this to Duterte.
DBP President and CEO Emmanuel Herbosa said the selling of non-performing loans (NPLs) like the loans of the Lopez’ companies were allowed despite the lack of certificate of eligibility from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
“Bakit hindi nyo po kausapin ang Presidente at ipaliwanag kung ganyan ang inyong paniniwala,” Defensor told Herbosa during the hearing.
Herbosa thanked Defensor for his guidance.
Duterte has been lashing out the Lopez-owned ABS-CBN Corp., saying he will not sign the legislative franchise until the owner’s obligation to the government are settled.
Based on documents submitted to the committee, the four companies of the Lopez Group borrowed a total of P1.6 billion from DBP in early 2000.
When the companies failed to pay, the DBP included it in a loan portfolio and sold it to Philippine Investment 1 and 2, of the Lehman Brothers for P1.069 billion.
The Philippine Investment 1 and 2 were able to collect from the Lopez companies a total of P1.25 billion.
Defensor said that the DBP should have waited for some time to collect from the Lopez companies and collect higher revenue.
“Why would you sell, hindi naman masamang account to talaga totally,” said Defensor.
DBP Vice President Romeo Aguilar said the bank then was cleaning its books the reason why it sold the portfolio of NPLs.
DBP, one of the biggest government financial institutions, has denied that it write-off or condone the loans.