Ill-gotten wealth case vs Lucio Tan dismissed
Mendoza asks gov’t to allow Allied Bank-PNB merger
MANILA, Philippines - After nearly 25 years of litigation, the Sandiganbayan has dismissed the ill-gotten wealth complaint filed by the government against business tycoon Lucio Tan, his lawyer said.
In a statement, Estelito Mendoza said: “It is Dr. Tan’s hope that with this decision of the Sandiganbayan, the PCGG [Presidential Commission on Good Government] will relent in its effort to lay claim to his assets and in restricting the exercise of full rights over those properties.”
The decision was issued last June 11 on Civil Case No. 0005. The 5th division of the anti-graft court said the PCGG does not have evidence to forfeit the tycoon’s assets.
The government started sequestering his shares of stock in major corporations in 1986.
The anti-graft court, however, nullified the writs of sequestration separately in 1993 and 2006, saying there was no prima facie evidence to consider them as ill-gotten.
The nullification of the sequestration was affirmed subsequently by the Supreme Court.
Thus, “with the decision of the Sandiganbayan on the merits of Civil Case No. 0005, the illegality of the limitation by the PCGG of the exercise of the rights of Dr. Tan over his assets through the years has received confirmation,” Mendoza said.
He said, however, that despite the explicit resolutions, the “PCGG continues to limit the exercise of Dr. Tan over his properties, the latest, being its opposition to the merger of Allied Bank and Philippine National Bank simply because the Allied Bank shares of stock of Dr. Tan are among the alleged ill-gotten wealth of Dr. Tan subject matter of Civil Case No. 0005.”
Mendoza said that with the decision of the Sandiganbayan, the “Central Bank, the PDIC and the SEC will see their way clear to expeditiously give their respective approval to the merger of Allied Bank and PNB. The delay has not only been prejudicial to the stockholders but to the banking system and the economy of the country.”