DOJ resolution on Globe Asiatique mess welcomed

by Chiara Zambrano, ABS-CBN News; ANC

Posted at Aug 24 2011 11:45 PM | Updated as of Aug 25 2011 09:47 PM

MANILA, Philippines - A Pag-IBIG Fund official on Wednesday expressed relief over the Department of Justice (DOJ) resolution finding probable cause to indict the top officials and employees of real estate developer Globe Asiatique (GA).

The review resolution released by by the DOJ declared that there is enough evidence to file charges of syndicated estafa constituting economic sabotage, against owners and officers of Globe Asiatique Realty Holdings.

This is in relation to anomalous loans made by GA from the state-run Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-IBIG Fund, where some P6.65 billion was released by the agency to alleged "ghost" borrowers as orchestrated by GA.
 
Recommended charged for the said non-bailable offense are: Delfin Lee, GA president; Dexter Lee, GA EVP, chief financial officer, treasurer and board member; Christina Salagan, head of GA Accounting/Finance Department; and Christina Sagun, head of GA Documentation Department.

"Para sa amin, magandang senyales ito na ang present administration ay may paninindigan talagang panagutin ang mga may sala," said Pag-IBIG vice-president for legal and general counsel Atty. Robert John Cosico.
 
Also included in the same charge of syndicated estafa is an officer of the Pag-IBIG Fund, Atty. Alex Alvarez.

A probe by the National Bureau of Investigation revealed that Alvarez notarized the fraudulent loans in batches.
           
"It's sad na may kasamahan kaming nasangkot dito, pero kung may kasalanan siya sa batas, kailangan din niyang managot," said Cosico on the fate of their colleague. "We'll do whatever is necessary to protect the funds of our members."
 
Cosico, however, declined to comment on the DOJ's proposal in the same resolution that recommends to the Ombudsman an investigation of possible criminal liability of current and former officials of the Pag-IBIG Fund.
 
"Given the foregoing factual backdrop, it cannot be gainsaid that this whole scam would not have happened if the responsible officers of the HDMF did their job in protecting the fund," the resolution stated. The investigation is for possible violation of RA 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
 
Recommended for investigation by the Office of the Ombudsman are former chief executive officers Atty. Romero F.S. Quimbo and Jaime  A. Fabiana, SVP for Operations-Northern Luzon Sector; Tessie Gonzales, former AVP for Loans and now SVP for Housing Operations; Rafael Abano, VP for Northern Luzon; and Atty. Vilma Flores, manager and loans officers of San Fernando Pampanga Branch.
 
Lawyers of Delfin Lee have decided to wait for a copy of the resolution to be sent to them before issuing any statement.