Written by Reflections from the Mirror / Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez
(only excerpt taken)
SUNDAY, 08 FEBRUARY 2009 21:09
The time has come for all government agencies which have to do with the operations of preneed companies to get their act together and come up with workable solutions to enable the government to assist the victims of failed preneed companies with satisfactory results.
I received information from a former employee of a preneed company called Platinum Plans saying that this company is owned by only one family, the Ernesto Salas family, and therefore, it would be easy to pierce the veil of corporate fiction. Thousands of low-income plan holders are now left out in the cold because the owners are dissipating their assets as fast, or even faster, than their scheme to milk their victims, again.
This former employee, who claims to be also a victim, is saying that the receiver appointed by the bank on behalf of Platinum Plans is a close associate of the owners, and the continued dissipation of the assets of Platinum Plans may be made possible through the collusion between the receiver and the owners, notwithstanding the requirements as ordered by the Makati court that all assets of Platinum Plans and the Salas family must be reported by the receiver to the bank so that the assets can be distributed to the victims.
According to my source, one proof of collusion may be the fact that a property owned by the Salas family on the top floor of the World Business Center Building was sold for P29 million, but none of the victimized plan holders received a centavo from this amount. So where did this P29 million go? The entire proceeds from the sale of this property is said to have gone straight to the Union Bank located at the Philippine Stock Exchange Building.
I have ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate the circumstances surrounding Platinum Plans, together with the identified receiver, a certain Attorney Cadamo, so that we will be able to get information on the activities of the owners of Platinum Plans, and in the process, we can somehow find a way to protect its victims.