House to quiz DBP over 'condoned' Lopez firms' loans

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 15 2020 03:46 PM

The Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) headquarters in Makati City is shown in this file photo taken on Feb. 20, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA -- Congressmen on Monday said they would ask the Development Bank of the Philippines to explain allegations it wrote off loans by the Lopez group worth P1.6 billion in 2006.

DUMPER PTDA party-list Rep. Claudine Bautista sought to include the reported condonation in committee deliberations on ABS-CBN's application for a new broadcast franchise.

The committee should determine if ABS-CBN and the Lopez companies "unjustly benefited from the loans condoned by the DBP to the prejudice of this government," she said.

"It is only reasonable and prudent on our side in Congress... to look into the legitimacy of the activities of its major stockholders and its affiliated companies because these entities are the ones in control of the company," she said.

President Rodrigo Duterte, who had repeatedly threatened to shut down ABS-CBN, said he would dig up the loan issue in a speech criticizing the Lopez family in 2019.

In a statement, Lopez Holdings Corp. said it did not have "any unpaid obligations to the Development Bank of the Philippines or other government financial institutions."

"All debt papers, including those sold by DBP to the SPV (special purpose vehicle) were eventually settled by the company," the company said.