Sandiganbayan orders turnover of 72.2% UCPB shares to gov’t
MANILA, Philippines – Junking a last-ditch effort by the camp of businessman Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr to prevent a government takeover of the bank, the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan has ordered the turnover of 72.2% of United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB) shares to the government.
In a resolution dated October 23, 2015, but released on Wednesday, October 28, the Sandiganbayan granted the Motion for Execution filed by the government in June this year.
The court ordered the issuance of a writ of execution to effect the transfer of the UCPB shares.
"The PCA and defendant Cojuangco Jr are hereby ordered to surrender to the Court the necessary documents to effect the transfer of the subject shares of stocks in favor of plaintiff Republic of the Philippines. The UCPB is directed to cancel the subject shares of stock and to issue the equivalent number of shares in the name of the Republic of the Philippines,” the court said in its resolution.
The PCA refers to the Philippine Coconut Authority.
In June, the Office of the Solicitor General and the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) asked the Sandiganbayan’s 2nd Division to transfer ownership of 72.2% of the UCPB to the government through a writ of execution.
In a 19-page motion filed on June 16, 2015, Assistant Solicitor General Thomas Laragan, Senior State Solicitor Sonny Von Ruaya, then acting PCGG chairman Richard Amurao, Commissioner Vicente Gengos Jr, and PCGG legal department director Maria Luisa Narvadez said the official turnover of the UCPB shares was in order.
This was in view of Supreme Court (SC) resolution dated November 27, 2012, which declared the Republic of the Philippines the rightful owner of the disputed block of shares. The SC held that the UCPB shares that were subject of the case were “conclusively owned” by the government as “true and beneficial owner.”
But the High Court had also clarified that the proceeds of the bank shares are “to be used only for the benefit of all coconut farmers and for the development of the coconut industry.”
On September 15, the High Court dismissed the UCPB's petition for declaratory relief or request for a legal clarification over its rights to its minority shares of stock in the Coconut Industry Investment Fund (CIIF) and its holding companies, and in San Miguel Corporation
The UCPB had said it would “exhaust all possible legal remedies” to retain its rights to its shares in the CIIF Oil Mills and in a portion of the sequestered San Miguel Corporation (SMC) shares. – Rappler.com