CA stops SEC order on Ongpin’s insider trading case

Chrisee Dela Paz
CA stops SEC order on Ongpin’s insider trading case
In issuing the TRO, the Court of Appeals says the complex issues and circumstances surrounding the case 'present an urgent and paramount necessity to prevent serious damage' on businessman Roberto Ongpin

MANILA, Philippines – The Court of Appeals (CA) has issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) decision on businessman Roberto Ongpin’s insider trading case involving Philex Mining Corporation shares in 2009.

The CA’s 12th Division on Monday, August 1, granted Ongpin’s petition to stop the SEC from enforcing its en banc decision to bar the businessmam from joining the board of any publicly listed company, and to slap him a P174-million fine for insider trading.

“Gauging from the complexity of the matters at hand and seeing that the circumstances in this case present an urgent and paramount necessity to prevent serious damage upon petitioner Ongpin…we resolve to grant the prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO),” a copy of the CA ruling read.

The appellate court has set the hearing on Ongpin’s petition on August 23 and 24.

The CA said, “In so ruling, we considered not the amount of fine imposed upon Ongpin but the penalty of disqualification and the order for him to relinquish or resign from the positions of director or officer, the extent of which affects not only the company Philex, but all other public and publicly listed corporations.”

“The damage to be suffered, if any, is not quantifiable in terms of monetary value and cannot be remedied under any standard compensation,” it added.

According to the SEC, Ongpin violated Section 27 of Republic Act No 8799 or the Securities Regulation Code. It had also ordered Ongpin to resign from all his current positions as officer or member of the board in any listed company.

Ongpin sits as chairman of two listed firms – PhilWeb Corporation and Atok Big Wedge Incorporated.

The local corporate regulators accused Ongpin of insider trading when he bought Philex shares in 2009, a few days before he sold a huge sum of shares to businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan at an agreed price. –

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