Pacific Plan holders win CA nod
by Jomar Canlas, Reporter
Oct. 11, 2006
The thousands of members of Parent’s Enabling Parents (PEP) Coalition running after Pacific Plans Inc. scored a resounding legal victory on Tuesday.
In a 31-page unanimous decision the Court of Appeals set aside the findings of Judge Romeo Barza of the Makati Regional Trial Court, who had authorized Pacific Plans to rehabilitate the company and suspend payment.
The decision, written by Associate Justice Japar Dimaampao, said the lower court committed grave abuse of discretion when it denied the motion of the PEP Coalition to allow its members to present evidence opposing the rehabilitation.
The decision said: “The court a quo should have at least received the evidence which the PEP Coalition attempted to proffer because in the end, it might mean that the hard-earned money by affected plan holders to secure their children’s education will be put to naught.”
The decision also declared a mistrial and ordered the lower court to allow the plan holders “and all oppositors and parties to the case at bench to present evidence proving their respective positions.”
The appellate court said the lower court should have considered the findings of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which has the expertise to tell whether Pacific Plans Inc. is liquid or not.
Earlier, the SEC ruled in favor of PEP Coalition. It believed that, contrary to its claim, Pacific Plans has enough assets to settle the claims. It found out that the corporation should be able to pay its plan holders until 2014.
The SEC also pointed out that the corporation’s trust fund exceeds the amount of claims it had to pay by P1,209,062,409.26, an amount that does not even include income on interest.
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