SEC set to probe commissioner’s connection with Delos Angeles
March 9, 2009
MANILA, Philippines – The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is set to conduct an investigation into the allegations that one of its commissioners, Jose Enrique Martinez, had illegal transactions with the controversial owner of Legacy Consolidated Plans Inc.SEC chairman Fe Barin told the Senate committee on trade and commerce that the commissioners will discuss among themselves the issue.
“We have to conduct our own hearing, difficult as it may be,” Barin said.
She said it was the first time that they heard the accusations.
“Sa amin sa SEC magkakaroon ng sariling hearing na katulad nito. Katulad ng nabigyan siya ng pagkakataon na makaharap at marinig ang mga alegasyon, bibigyan namin siya ng ganung pagkakataon,” Barin said.
[We will conduct our own hearing. The same way that he (Martinez) was given a chance to face the accusers and hear their allegations, we will give him the same opportunity.]
Martinez oversees the SEC Non-traditional Securities and Instruments Department that has direct supervision over pre-need companies.
Earlier in the hearing, Legacy chief operating officer Carolina Hiñola disclosed the alleged close relationship between the company’s owner Celso Delos Angeles Jr. and Martinez.
“I know for a fact that Mr. Delos Angeles is well connected with the SEC, the regulatory body in charge of the pre-need companies as he is a close friend of Commissioner Jesus Martinez of the SEC,” Hiñola said.
She said Delos Angeles often mentioned and bragged about his connection with the SEC, adding she was able to personally confirm this when the former asked them to meet Martinez on February 14, 2006.
She again met with Martinez on November 9, 2007 at the Linden Suites in Ortigas where she handed to him P1.475 million upon the instructions of Delos Angeles.
“The said money was personally received by Martinez. The money came from RBSJ as supposed payment to Martinez for the Expedition acquired by RSBJ [Rural Bank of San Jose]. What I know is that while the Expedition was booked for the account of RBSJ, it was Delos Angeles who personally used the [vehicle],” Hiñola said.
She said Martinez also called her to follow up the payment by Legacy to a certain Michael Lirio, a seller of a house and lot in Parañaque that was supposed to be the SEC commissioner’s gift to his son.
“Legacy ended up buying the said house and lot from Mr. Lirio, ownership of this house and lot was later transferred to Commissioner Martinez’ son,” Hiñola said.
She added Martinez helped the Legacy when it had problems renewing its dealership license in 2008 due to some deficiencies.
“From my interactions with both Mr. Delos Angeles and Martinez, I can say with reasonable certainty that Commissioner Martinez is a close friend of Mr. Delos Angeles,” Hiñola said.
Martinez, who was present during the hearing, denied the allegations. – Amita O. Legaspi, GMANews.TV
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