Quedancor execs convicted of graft over loan scam

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    SIX former ranking officials of the Quedan and Rural Credit Guarantee Corporation (Quedancor), a government-owned or controlled corporation, have been convicted by the Sandigabanyan of graft over the irregular approval of a P2 million loan to private individuals in 2006.

    In a 101-page decision penned by Associate Justice Georgina D. Hidalgo, the anti-graft court’s Seventh Division sentenced Quedancor senior vice president for loans management Alexander Butic, accountant Analyn Hobayan, Quedal operations officer and district supervisor Joel Gagelonia, Credit Assessment Group regional unit head Rhona Marie Resuello-Añover, Collection and Remedial Management Group regional head Rudolph Zoleta, and Quedan operations officer Carino Julius Cañezal to imprisonment of six to 10 years each.

    Likewise convicted were private defendants Luisito and Femy Vinuya, the couple who applied for and received the loaned amount from Quedancor.

    Associate Justices Ma. Theresa Dolores C. Gomez-Estoesta and Zaldy V. Trespeses concurred with the ponencia of Justice Hidalgo.

    Aside from incarceration, all the accused were also ordered to pay the government P1.927 million with legal interest of six percent per year until the judgment cost has been fully satisfied.

    Based on the information filed by the Office of the Ombudsman on March 7, 2011, the Quedancor officials were accused of acting with manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence for processing, approving and granting the P2 million loan to spouses Vinuya even if the latter were ineligible.

    Government prosecutors said the loan was backed by insufficient collateral in the form of an agricultural lot with a market value of only P365,120 thereby giving the private defendants unwarranted benefits or advantage while causing damage to the government.

    Quedancor, formerly a subsidiary corporation of the National Food Authority (NFA) is a government financial institution mandated to provide funding assistance to small agriculture and fishery entrepreneurs.

    After figuring in numerous corruption investigation involving billions of pesos in government funds, President Duterte ordered Quedancor abolished on June 28, 2017.

    Records showed the Vinuyas were able to obtain a loan on the basis of their claim that the money will be used in their Calamansi production under an establishment named LFV Calamansi Trading with an address listed at 71 Ver Street, San Juan City.

    Graft investigators from the Office of the Ombudsman found out there were two streets in San Juan City named “Ver” but the supposed business establishment of the Vinuya couple does not exist in either one.

    A barangay official of San Juan and an NBI officer testified that the address No. 71 does not exist either in Barangay Little Baguio or in Barangay Kabayanan.

    Likewise, verification of the existence of the supposed 12-hectare calamansi farm proved impossible as neither the land itself nor the 5,000 calamansi trees allegedly planted on it could be found.

    The only thing supporting the supposed calamansi trading venture is a piece of paper consisting of a business name registration filed with the Department of Trade and Industry.

    “The instant case is a criminal action…where the proseuciton’s sole focus is to prove beyond reasonable doubt, the complicity of all of herein accused in applying, preparing, processing, and not reviewing and verifying the Vinuya account before approving the P2 million loan.

    The prosecution successfully hurdled the rigid standards of proving the guilt of an accused before the courts of law,” the Sandiganbayan said.