CA affirms decision clearing Roberto Ongpin of insider trading

MANILA, Philippines – The Court of Appeals (CA) affirmed a ruling clearing businessman Roberto Ongpin of 174 counts of insider trading involving Philex Mining Corporation shares in 2009.

The five-page resolution made public on August 2 – penned by Associate Justice Ma. Luisa Quijano-Padilla of the CA's Special 13th Thirteenth Division – denied a motion for reconsideration filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) Enforcement and Investor Protection Department.

The decision made by the CA on December 1, 2017, reversed and set aside the decision of the SEC from July 8, 2016, which found Ongpin liable for insider trading. 

The SEC had earlier accused Ongpin of insider trading wherein he was said to have accumulated, then sold, a block of Philex shares to Manuel Pangilinan-led First Pacific with the prior knowledge of an agreed upon price at which to sell the shares.

The CA did not give credence to SEC’s insistence that the Commission's findings – that Ongpin committed insider trading – was supported by substantial evidence. 

The CA added other arguments raised by SEC in its motion for reconsideration “are mere rehash” of what had already been talked about and resolved in its December 2017 decision. –