SEC commissioner protecting Legacy, says coalition

Posted at 03/09/2009 10:39 AM | Updated as of 03/09/2009 10:41 AM

At least two Senate witnesses are set to identify a Securities and Exchange Commission official who gave protection to the Legacy Group of financial services companies, PEP Coalition president Philip Piccio said Monday.

Piccio said the two witnesses have been receiving threats after saying that they will testify in the Senate investigation on the Legacy Group. "They will reveal the name of the incumbent SEC commissioner and what scheme was used by de los Angeles to get money," he told radio dzMM.

Last week, respondents Carol Hiñola and Namnama Santos, the respective president and chief finance officer of Legacy, faced the local media and showed documents that traced funds from the Legacy group making its way to the bank accounts of allies of several politicians. They asked to be placed under protective custody of the Senate after claiming their lives were under threat.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has filed two cases of syndicated estafa against Celso de los Angeles and top management of the Legacy Group and allied companies for allegedly siphoning P487 million of depositors and government money.
 
BSP’s first estafa case against de los Angeles and others involved alleged fraudulent transactions amounting to P1 billion. It focused on one of the Legacy-linked rural banks, the Rural Bank of Darbci. The BSP’s case focused on Darbci’s operations in General Santos and Cebu.
 
The second case centered on another rural bank: First Interstate Bank (FIB), previously called Rural Bank of Kananga, Leyte. FIB, now closed, had several branches in Leyte province.
 
Both complaints were filed by BSP's counsel Villaraza Cruz Marcelo & Angangco.

Through the affidavits executed by the banks’ officers and witnesses, the BSP is establishing a trend: that de los Angeles and his group had a “criminal intent…to defraud through a series of misappropriation.” The affidavits said this intent is “apparent from the very beginning.”