Yasay failed to report Banco Filipino loans to BSP: ex-central bank gov

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 29 2019 09:18 AM | Updated as of Aug 29 2019 09:41 AM

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MANILA - A former central bank governor on Thursday belied former foreign affairs secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. claim that he was not liable in the P350 million worth of loans by Banco Filipino.

Yasay was briefly detained last week over the alleged violation of violating two Philippine banking laws from loans made by Banco Filipino in 2003 to 2006.

He said he should not have been arrested or charged since the loans were granted before he joined the bank in 2009 as a board member.

Former BSP Governor Jose Cuisia Jr. said Yasay was already a board director of the shuttered bank in 2010 when the central bank transmitted an examination report that directed them to rectify Banco Filipino's violation of banking laws.

Police records showed Yasay failed to report to BSP the approval of P350 million worth of loans by Banco Filipino to Tierrasud Incorporated, owned by Tropical Land Corporation which had 1.8 percent shares in the shuttered bank.

"There is a requirement that loans to stockholders owning more than 1 percent of the stockholdings of the bank must be reported to the central which they failed to do," Cuisia told ANC's Early Edition.

"There were two directives sent to the board of Banco Filipino and they did not respect or heed the directives of the monetary board."

A second report of examination was sent to Banco Filipino's board in September 2010, Cuisia said.

"The bank was closed finally in 2011 so they had so much time to comply," he said.

"He should read the manual regulations of bank [it] is very specific. They must report it to the Monetary board. And he’s a lawyer, so he should know."

Cuisia said the central bank offered to reopen Banco Filipino after a 1991 Supreme Court decision favored the shuttered bank but Tomas Aguirre, father of Banco Filipino president Anthony Aguirre, refused to pay the central bank's P3 billion emergency loan.

"Tommy Aguirre wanted to pay at the end of 10 years with no interest, which of course is clearly way out of the monetary board and I did not agree to those terms," he said.

"I was not even asking full payment of the loan, I said 50 percent and the balance over 5 years with interest."

Cuisia added that the central bank may hire private counsel after Yasay took a swipe at a private lawyer who “pushed his way around” during his arrest.

"Under the new central bank charter, government may engage private counsel...again he gave the wrong information," Cuisia said.