DBP lawyer part of 'crucial' probe found dead

by Jasmin Romero and Coco Alcuaz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 02 2011 11:03 PM | Updated as of Aug 03 2011 11:34 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) assistant chief legal counsel who was "involved in a crucial investigation" committed suicide in a Las Piñas hotel on Tuesday, police said.

Attorney Benjamin Pinpin, 43, strangled himself with a nylon cord in the bathroom of a Eurotel hotel on Zapote Alabang Road, according to a police report.

The body was discovered before noon.

Pinpin was part of a probe into "previous questionable transactions" and appeared to have died "under unusual circumstances," the DBP said in a  statement.

Contacted by phone, DBP Chairman Jose Nuñez Jr. declined to elaborate on how Pinpin died or what the investigation was about.

"Development Bank of the Philippines Chairman Jose A. Nuñez Jr. and his board wish to express their profound condolence to the family of the late DBP lawyer Benjamin Pinpin who was found dead in a Las Pinas hotel today Aug. 2, 2011," the DBP statement said.

"President Francisco del Rosario Jr., the whole DBP Board, and I are in agreement that Atty. Pinpin is a key player in the DBP legal office and a big loss to the bank. In fact, Benjie is a second-generation DBP employee. His mother was the DBP dentist," Nuñez said.

"We are waiting for the police report of his passing which, if initial reports are to be believed, are under unusual circumstances," he added.

"The bank is in the midst of a crucial investigation concerning previous questionable transactions and Atty. Pinpin had an important role in the process.  So we are hoping that his passing had nothing to do with that," Nuñez said.