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Another possible plunder charge against Manny Villar.

>> Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Villar firms illegally secured P4.5-B loan from BSP, party-list group claims.

One of Nacionalista Party standard bearer Senator Manuel Villar Jr.’s companies secured a P4.5-billion loan from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas under highly irregular terms, officials of a party-list group allied with the Liberal Party claimed Thursday.

At a press conference in Quezon City, Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros said the Villar-owned Capitol Bank separately secured four loans amounting P4.5 billion from the BSP in 1998, despite some seemingly unmet loan requirements.

Hontiveros said that under the new Central Bank Act, which Villar himself authored, BSP loans should be secured by "government securities to the extent of their applicable loan values and other encumbered first class collateral."

But there were no securities made and some of the lots made as collateral were found to cover cliffs and timberland considered public domain, said Hontiveros, who is seeking a Senate seat under the Liberal Party.

Villar's camp refused to comment accusation, which came less than two weeks before the May 10 polls. But it said they have yet to get enough information on the matter.

"I have not been informed yet of the details of the alleged exposé," lawyer Naren Rosero-Galang, Villar's counsel, said in a text message to GMANews.TV.

At the same press conference, Akbayan legal counsel Ibarra Gutierrez III said the collateral were of 'dubious validity' and that the BSP should have taken more careful steps in allowing the loans.

"These loans never reached the level of the Monetary Board," said Hontiveros, pointing out that under the law, all BSP loans should be approved by the Monetary Board.

Gutierrez said they will file before the Ombudsman a motion to investigate the case for possible plunder charge against Villar. — with Amita Legaspi/RSJ/LBG, GMANews.TV

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