DBP lawyer feared graft raps, suicide letter reveals

by Henry Omaga-Diaz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 04 2011 10:16 PM | Updated as of Aug 06 2011 02:41 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Several hours after Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) lawyer Benjamin Pinpin was found dead last Tuesday, his wife Amy found a letter from her husband.

In it, Pinpin revealed how upset he was about being investigated for a P510-million loan granted to a businessman during the past DBP administration. He said he did not want his family to be affected by the controversy.

DBP lawyer feared graft raps, suicide letter reveals 1

“I come to the end. I don't want my family to bear this problem.”

He also expressed fear that he would be charged for graft.

"Being indicted for graft is the worst thing for me. All I wanted was to have a clean, simple life.....that's an example I want to leave to my children.”

Pinpin worked in the documentation division of the DBP. That’s why his wife does not believe he could influence any loan granted by the bank.

“I thought I was helping my family by saving my job...but in the end, I lost my dignity and credibility, and I will lose them, too,” Pinpin wrote.

His letter also indicated that he was being forced to do something that he did not want to do. He said because of this, he lost his dignity and his loved ones.

He apologized to his family and told them to move on.

"...sorry for my family for giving you so much pain, but this will pass and you must move on. I love you very much. Please pray for me. – Benjie.”

DBP chief: Exclude Pinpin

Meanwhile, DBP President Francisco del Rosario said he had voiced his opposition to the board's investigation of Pinpin.

He said 20 employees were given show cause memos in connection to the questionable loan.

“I was for a limited show cause to 5 or 6, because it will create climate of fear,” del Rosario said.

He added he does not believe Pinpin had anything to do with the case.

"I don't believe that Pinpin should have been included in the investigation,” he said.

Other DBP employees are affected by Pinpin's death. They're also concerned that the reputation of the institution they work for has been tarnished.

Controversial loan

Del Rosario Jr. also told reporters that Pinpin was agonizing about a loan that DBP extended to Delta Venture Resources Inc. (DVRI), a company led by businessman Roberto Ongpin.

In a special report last May, abs-cbnNEWS.com published "DBP-Ongpin-Philex controversial deals detailed," which discussed a controversial loan extended by DBP to DVRI amounting to P510 million.

DVRI used the loan proceeds to purchase the bank's shares in Philex Mining, a listed company that the group of businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan wanted to control.

The loan and the stock transactions occurred in late-2009.

DBP was then led by its president, veteran banker Reynaldo David.

David had said all the transactions followed banking rules and passed through necessary credit checks. He also said the bank earned hefty sums from trading the Philex Mining shares, resulting in record profits for the bank that year.

In a letter to ABS-CBN News, Ongpin also stressed that the transactions were above-board.

The current DBP board initiated an internal audit of these loan-and-stock deals early this year. Several officers of the bank have been identified as having been involved in the processing of the loan and stock transactions. 

Pinpin was one of them.

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Read Part 1 of special report: DBP-Ongpin-Philex controversial deals detailed

Read Part 2 of the special report: The Philex Mining saga: How First Pacific acquired control