Sandiganbayan junks case against former DBP execs

Sandiganbayan junks case against former DBP execs
Article posted December 26, 2010 - 09:31 PM

The Sandiganbayan Fifth Division cleared two former top officials of the Development Bank of the Philippines of any liability in a P51 billion civil lawsuit filed by the Presidential Commission on Good Government 23 years ago.

In a 14-page resolution issued Dec. 22, the anti-graft court junked the government case against former DBP Board chairman Cesar Zalamea and former vice chairman Don Ferry.

The two were accused of approving the allegedly anomalous sale of DBP’s stake in Century Park Sheraton Hotel to Sipalay Trading Corp. for P150 million despite its supposed book value of P340 .7 million on Apr. 22, 1985.

DBP held its stake in Century Park through a 79 percent holding in Maranaw Hotel and Resorts Corp.

Government lawyers claimed Sipalay Trading was a ‘dummy’ company formed in 1984 by the late President Ferdinand Marcos and businessman Lucio Tan with a capitalization of only P900,000.

But the Sandiganbayan pointed out that not one of the witnesses presented by the PCGG and the Office of the Solicitor General was able to link either Zalamea or Ferry to any of the properties being claimed by the government as part of the alleged ill-gotten wealth of the defendants.

"No evidence presented by the plaintiff shows that defendants Zalamea and Ferry had any participation in the acquisition of the assets," the court said.

Even Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., testifying for the government on February 2008, admitted on the witness stand that "Zalamea had nothing to do with any of the transactions." - MRT/KBK, GMANews.TV

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