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July 29, 2015, Wednesday
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  • 'SAF 44' Sr. Insp. Ryan Pabalinas' wife Erica laments that Pres. Aquino forgot about SAF 44 in his SONA. 5 hours ago |
  • Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares urges Pres. Aquino to certify as urgent the Anti-Dynasty Bill. 20 hours ago |
  • Kabataan party-list Rep. Terry Ridon says Makabayan bloc stands by its actions during Pres. Aquino's SONA. 20 hours ago |
  • QC Rep. Winston Castelo says the House Ethics Cmte. should probe Makabayan bloc’s ‘unparliamentary behavior’ in session hall during SONA. 20 hours ago |
  • MMDA to hold metrowide earthquake drill on Thursday beginning at 10 am. 20 hours ago |
  • Abad says the P 3-trillion nat’l budget for 2016 is P 394-billion or P15% higher than the 2015 budget of P 2.6-trillion. 20 hours ago |
  • House Appropriations Cmte. Chairman Isidro Ungab says his committee will begin the budget hearings on August 10. 20 hours ago |
  • Budget Sec. Florencio Abad submits to the House of Representatives the proposed national budget of P 3-trillion for 2016. 21 hours ago |

It’s final: Govt owns Danding’s shares in Cocobank

By Rey E. Requejo | Jul. 11, 2013 at 12:02am
The Supreme Court has ruled with finality that the shares of businessman Eduardo Cojuangco Jr. in the United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB) belong to the government.

In an en banc resolution promulgated Tuesday, the Supreme Court dismissed Cojuangco’s motion for reconsideration of its Nov. 27, 2012 decision upholding the ruling of the Sandiganbayan in July 2003 that declared the disputed shares as among the assets illegally acquired using coconut levy funds.

The justices said Cojuangco’s petition had no merit because it was a “mere reiteration of the arguments that have been previously pleaded, submited and resolved by the Court.”

In his appeal, Cojuangco argued that his constitutional right to due process and the non-impairment of contract were violated, but the Court disagreed.

“The arguments in the motion are too unsubstantial to warrant reconsideration or modification. We find no reason to modify or abandon the challenged cecision,” the Court said, in its ruling written by Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr.

The justices said the new ruling was final.

“No further pleadings shall be entertained. Let entry of judgment be made in due course,” the Court said.

In the decision approved by eight justices last year, the Court held that the anti-graft court the Sandiganbayan was correct in nullifying the a May 25, 1975 deal with the Philippines Coconut Administration that transferred to Cojuangco by way of compensation 10 percent of the 72.2 percent First United Bank (now UCPB) shares of stocks that the PCA purchased from his uncle, Pedro Cojuangco, using the coconut levy funds.

The court noted that Cojuangco in effect received public assets with a value then of P10.88 million, considering his admission that the PCA paid the entire acquisition price for the 72.2 percent shares out of the Coconut Consumers Stabilization Fund,

The tribunal said Cojuangco benefitted by owning property acquired using public funds.

The Court also ruled that the Presidential Commission on Good Government had presented “conclusive” and “incontrovertible” evidence to prove this before the Sandiganbayan.

“Consequently, Cojuangco cannot stand to benefit by receiving, in his private capacity, 72.2 percent of the FUB shares without violating the constitutional caveat that public funds can only

be used for public purpose. Accordingly, the 7.22 percent FUB (UCPB) shares that were given to Cojuangco shall be returned to the government, to be used ‘only for the benefit of all coconut farmers and for the development of the coconut industry’,” the Court ruled.

The Court also upheld the anti-graft court’s ruling declaring the government as owner of the 72.2 percent shares of UCBP that the PCA bought using coconut levy funds.

In its 2003 ruling, the Sandiganbayan ruled that the use by the PCA of coconut levy funds to purchase shares in UCPB in 1975 was illegal.

It also added that a presidential decree that the PCA used to justify its use of the coconut levy funds was never published, and therefore “did not acquire binding force.”
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