Last minute case filed to stop Lucio Tan banks' Feb merger
MANILA, Philippines - Heirs of the original shareholders of a Lucio Tan-led commercial bank have filed a case against regulators who approved the upcoming February 9 merger between Allied Bank and Philippine National Bank (PNB), both controlled by the tycoon.
On Wednesday, January 30, stockholders and relatives of the founder or stockholder of General Bank and Trust company (Genbank), filed before the Ombudsman Office criminal and administrative complaints against the following officials of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC):
- Armando M. Tetangco, Jr., Governor of BSP and Chairman of the Monetary Board
- Cesar V. Purisima, member, Monetary Board
- Alfredo C. Antonio, member, Monetary Board
- Ignacio R. Bunye, member, Monetary Board
- Peter B. Favila, member, Monetary Board
- Felipe M. Medalla, member, Monetary Board
- Armando L. Suratos, member, Monetary Board
- Teresita J. Herbosa, Chairperson, SEC
- Valentin A. Araneta, President, PDIC
Former Iloilo City mayor-in-charge Rosa Caram, a widow Genbank stockholder, and the two sons of Genbank founder Clarence Yujuico -- Aderito and Joselito -- said the merger should not proceed because they are still contesting Tan's ownership of Allied Bank shares.
They are asserting that Tan acquired control of Genbank (before renaming it Allied Bank) through favors the Marcos government gave to Tan in the 1970's, when the Central Bank took over Genbank following the grant of P310 million emergency loan.
"The planned merger between Allied and the PNB will clearly change the form of the shares of stock of Allied and effectively pre-empt the eventual resolution and disposition of the Sandiganbayan as far as those shares are concerned. In essence, the proposed merger will compromise the ability of the GRP (government) to recover the subject Allied shares and will adversely affect its substantial right to due process.
"On this basis, no merger should be allowed until a final and executory decision is rendered in Sandiganbayan Civil Case No. 005. (Republic vs. Lucio Tan, et al)
"To allow the merger now involving shares which are under litigation is not only un-procedural, it infringes the substantial rights of the GRP to recover ill-gotten wealth. At the very least, the merger should be held in abeyance until judgment in Civil Case No. 0005 is rendered and attains finality," the defendants wrote in their case filing.
The Sandiganbayan dismissed in June 2012 the almost 25-year ill-gotten wealth case of the government against tycoon Lucio Tan since the government lawyers presented inadequate evidence against Tan and his co-defendants. In September 2012, the anti-graft court affirmed this decision.
The merger will create the country's 4th largest privately owned bank. PNB will be the surviving entity and will have a network of 646 branches nationwide, total assets of P514 billion. - Rappler.com