House to probe Pag-IBIG officials for bribery

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 13 2010 08:20 PM | Updated as of Sep 14 2010 04:20 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The House of Representatives wants to investigate some officials of the Pag-IBIG Fund who allegedly received condominium units from troubled property developer Globe Asiatique Realty Holdings Corp.

Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga has disclosed that he received a tip from a reliable source that a number of the state-run agency's executives were allegedly given units at Globe Asiatique's 30-story GA Twin Towers in Mandaluyong City.

"That would be bribery. That's against ethical standards," he said.

Globe Asiatique is being accused of taking out billions of pesos worth of Pag-IBIG loans on behalf of "ghost" borrowers through easy terms offered by the housing fund.

Barzaga said the House will discuss on Tuesday who will be invited to its investigation into spurious housing loans traced to Globe Asiatique's projects in Pampanga.

According to reports, Globe Asiatique withdrew P6.6 billion worth of Pag-IBIG loans on behalf of nearly 9,000 buyers under the fund's so-called Other Working Group program, which was first introduced during the time of then president and chief executive of Pag-IBIG and now Marikina Rep. Romero Quimbo.

Quimbo, however, washed his hands of the matter, saying that bulk of Globe Asiatique's loan take-outs happened after he left the agency.

He also deflected questions on whether or not higher officials pressured him to "go easy" in their dealings with the property developer.

"Wala akong maalala, pumilit o nag-implwensya, wala akong maalala. We deal with them professionally. It's irrelevant."

Quimbo also categorically denied he received a condo unit from Globe Asiatique.

"I don't have a unit there, never had and none of my family has."

Meanwhile, Globe Asiatique's owner and president, Delfin Lee, also denied giving out condominium units to Pag-IBIG officers.

Pag-IBIG, also known as the Home Development Mutual Fund, is filing charges against Lee for alleged fraudulent use of the agency's housing loans.

The state-run fund said Globe Asiatique borrowed money for its clients, many of whom were not even aware they had applied for loans.

But Lee said all their transactions with Pag-IBIG were legitimate, and that the company has no "ghost" buyers.

Pag-IBIG has already started proceedings to "blacklist" Globe Asiatique.