SEC official in Legacy mess should go on leave – Palace
March 10, 2009
by SOPHIA DEDACE
MANILA, Philippines – A Malacañang official on Tuesday said that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) commissioner dragged into the Legacy Consolidated Plans, Inc. (LCPI) mess should go on leave pending investigation on the officer’s involvement.
Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said Commissioner Jesus Martinez should go on a leave of absence so that the separate investigations to be conducted by the SEC and the Office of the Ombudsman will be free from any doubts.
“Mabuti na rin siguro mag-leave. Malapit na rin matapos ang termino niya (Martinez) pero for purposes of delicadeza, mag-leave of absence siya without prejudice to an internal investigation by the SEC and an independent investigation to be conducted by the Ombudsman,” Remonde said in an interview on dzBB radio.
[It would be better if he will go on a leave of absence. His term will soon be over, but for purposes of delicadeza, he should go on leave without prejudice to an in internal investigation by the SEC and an independent investigation to be conducted by the Ombudsman.]
At last Monday’s hearing of the Senate trade and commerce committee, two high-ranking LCPI officials disclosed that Martinez had close connections with company’s owner Celso Delos Angeles Jr., who is accused of misusing the firm’s funds.
Former LCPI chief operating officer Carolina Hiñola said that Martinez and Delos Angeles transacted money for the purchase of a house in Parañaque and a vehicle. But the SEC commissioner denied the accusations.
Also in that hearing, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said Martinez should resign.
“I think it is about time we call spade a spade. If I were Commissioner Martinez, I will tender my resignation this afternoon. Honor dictates that you must at least tender that and leave it to the chief executive of the land whether to accept or not to accept your resignation,” Enrile said.
Enrile said he was ready to file a resolution expressing the Senate’s “sense of disgust” over Martinez’s conduct. He also asked Martinez to submit a copy of his resignation to the Senate panel.
In a separate radio interview on Tuesday, Enrile said the Senate will file a resolution asking President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to call for the resignation of the commissioners of the SEC for supposedly failing to protect plan holders from the alleged misuse and illegal disbursement of funds of the troubled Legacy Plans.
“Yun pong mga SEC commissioners, mukhang nagtatanga-tangahan sila. ‘Di nila alam ang nangyayari. Iisipin natin, napakalaki ng pinsala sa publiko at sila ang intasan na gwardiya para ‘di mapinsila ang kapakanan ng mga consumer, ng publiko. Di nila ginagawa, ang dapat gawin ay dapat magresign sila,” Enrile told dzBB radio.
“Magfa-file kami ng resolution sa Senado. Hihilingin namin sa Presidente na tanggalin na sa pwesto ang mga tao na ‘yan,” he added.
[The SEC commissioners should resign because they pretend that nothing fraudulent is happening. So much damage has been done to the plan holders, whose welfare they should be protecting. They are not doing their job, so they should resign instead. We at the Senate will file a resolution asking the President to order them to quit their posts.]
In response, SEC Chairwoman Fe Barin said she will not relinquish her post unless President Arroyo tells her to do so, adding that she did not do anything that would merit for her resignation from office.
“I am appointed for a fixed term. I leave my fate in the hands of the President,” she said on dzBB radio Tuesday.
Barin also said the SEC will give Martinez an opportunity to defend himself. “Iba yung hearing ng Senado sa (hearing) sa loob ng Commission. Paguusapan namin ‘yan at bibigyang pagkakataon (Martinez) na magpaliwanag sa Commission.”
[The hearing at the Senate is different from that of the SEC’s. We will talk about it and we will give him a chance to explain.]
Barin also said that only President Arroyo can make a “decisive action” against Martinez “because he is a Presidential appointee.” – GMANews.TV
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