Paz Radaza’s pain

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014


MY COLUMN last Monday about my experience in applying for a personal loan with the local branch of Standard-Chartered Bank generated reactions from readers who shared similar experiences with other banks. They were mostly applying for credit cards.

Like me, they were not properly informed about the status of their application and only knew that the application was denied when they checked personally with the bank months later.

Last Monday and until yesterday, the local bank’s loan officer, Moriel Binghay, and its Manila-based officer texted and called me. I ignored their calls and text messages.

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One of the message read: “Good afternoon Mr. Nalzaro, this is Mr. Joy Bitoy, senior manager for service quality from Standard-Chartered Bank. Your article reached us and we just wish to talk with you to personally apologize and thank you for the feedback.

Please advise best time to call you sir. Thank you.”

For me, there is nothing to apologize. What I want is just a little explanation why they failed to update me for more than a month on my personal loan application. All I want is a categorical answer whether my application was approved or not. If they denied it for whatever reasons, then fine with me. I will not force the issue.

I know it was beyond the control of Binghay because the approval or denial comes from Manila. But the problem with Binghay is that, after assuring me that she will update me, she failed to do it. She could not even be contacted.

I applied in good faith because they offered it to me. But after I complied with all the requirements, they did not even have the courtesy of updating me of the status of my application. They left me hanging. Is this the way this international and notable bank treats its clients?

If based on their background investigation I didn’t have the capability to pay then they should have told me about it. When I applied for a car loan with RCBC two years ago, within the day I got my brand new car. Mind you my car was more expensive than the amount I applied with Standard-Chartered Bank. In our Newscoop, all applications for loan are processed and released within the day.

I am not sour-graping. What I want is a categorical answer. Pero mag-usab pay layog ninyo.

***

A reliable source close to the camp of Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza said that a warrant of arrest on her involvement in the alleged multi-billion-peso fictitious loan applications that led to the bankruptcy of Rural Bank of Subangdaku may be out soon.

Paz, who was the bank president then, along with other bank officers, was indicted in the cases filed by the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. (PDIC) before a court in Manila. PDIC, which placed the bank under receivership after it declared bankruptcy, found several fictitious loans amounting to P6 billion. This case is bailable, though.

Last month, Paz posted bail before the Sandiganbayan on her alleged involvement in the anomalous use of Girls Scout of the Philippines (GSP) Cebu Council funds taken from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of former fourth district congresswoman Clavel Asas-Martinez. Paz was the council's treasurer.

Martinez channeled some P16 million from her PDAF funds to the GSP bank account but withdrew it later and deposited it to her personal account, leaving only some P600,000 as donation to GSP.

I maybe too presumptuous but I am quite sure that these cases filed against Mayor Radaza have affected her personally and her governance in the city. It is not easy to face cases in court, especially if these have something to do with graft and corruption. It is very agonizing. Lapu-Lapu City is improving economically and is branding itself as the “historic resort city.”

Sige lang Ma’am Paz, kun sa Tagalog pa, pagsubok lamang yan.

(bobby.nalzaro@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 20, 2014.

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