Cojuangco insists: UCPB shares not 'stolen', meant as payment for his services

The camp of businessman Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco Jr on Thursday insisted that his 7.2-percent shares of stock in United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB) should not be returned to the goverment because they were not "stolen" in the first place.

The high court, in a decision last month, had ruled with finality that Cojuangco's shares of stocks in the bank should be returned since the money used to accumulate the equity stake came from public funds—deeming the shares public property.

However, Cojuangco's lawyer Estelito Mendoza, in an interview with reporters in Manila, explained that Cojuangco's 7.2 percent shares in the UCPB was a "just compensation" paid by the Philippine Coconut Authority to him for paving the way for the transfer of UCPB shares to coconut farmers at the option price of P200 per share.

Mendoza added that Cojuangco's 7.2 percent share was also in payment for "performing the management services required of him" during the transfer agreement.

Through a May 1975 agreement, 137,866 shares in UCPB (then called First Union Bank or FUB) were sold by stockholders to Cojuangco—who owned FUB at the time—at the price of P200 per share with an aggregate price of P27,573,200.

Cojuangco, in a second agreement, then sold 144,400 FUB shares to the PCA constituting 72.2 percent of the outstanding capital stock, also at a price of P200 per share.

Mendoza said part of that agreement was that Cojuangco would "receive compensation for exercising his personal and exclusive option to acquire Option Shares, for transferring such shares to the coconut farmers at the option price of P200 per share."

The lawyer added: "The shares of Mr. Cojuangco amounting to 7.22 percent of the capital stock of FUB/UCPB, now in question, were transferred to him by PCA in payment for the above services."

Mendoza stressed that the agreements would not have been executed had it not been for Cojuangco. Mendoza noted that in its decision, the high court upheld the validity of the two agreements entered upon by Cojuangco in 1975.

"The UCPB shares of Mr. Cojuangco were not stolen from the government nor the money with which they were paid," Mendoza said.

"The Supreme Court has now ordered those shares forfeited to the government but it keeps the fruits of those services," he added.

Mendoza stressed that under the Constitution, a private property should not be taken for public use without payment of just compensation.

"The PCA and Mr. Cojuangco agreed what the just compensation would be for the services he would render. The services were rendered and PCA paid the agreed just compensation," he added.

"Parenthetically, conceding that the coconut levy funds are public funds, is not the PCA a government entity and precisely uses public funds? Are not the salaries of President PNoy [Benigno Aquino III] and every government employee for services rendered paid with public funds?" Mendoza said.

The controversial fund came from taxes imposed on coconut farmers during the martial law years by alleged cronies of then President Ferdinand Marcos, including Cojuangco, with the promise of sharing investments and development of the coconut industry.

The collections were allegedly used to fund the personal concerns of the Marcos cronies, including the purchase of FUB and a majority stake in food and beverage giant San Miguel, now a diversified conglomerate.

The fund was sequestered after Marcos was ousted in the February 1986 People Power revolution. — BM, GMA News


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Philippines to fly over disputed South China Sea: Aquino
    Philippines to fly over disputed South China Sea: Aquino

    Philippine military and commercial aircraft will keep flying over disputed areas in the South China Sea despite Chinese warnings over the airspace, President Benigno Aquino said on Monday. "We will still fly the routes that we fly based on the international law from the various conventions we entered into," Aquino told reporters when asked whether the Philippines accepted China's position. The Chinese military last week ordered a US Navy P-8 Poseidon surveillance plane away from airspace …

  • ‘Kentex owners still in Phl’
    ‘Kentex owners still in Phl’

    The daughter of one of the Kentex Manufacturing Corp. owners has assured the government that the businessmen are still in the Philippines, contrary to some reports that they have fled the country. Barbara Ang, daughter of Kentex shareholder Veato Ang, said her father and his business partners have no plans of leaving the country despite the razing of the Valenzuela slipper factory, which killed 72 workers on May 13. Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian also stood by his promise to punish any local …

  • Gasoline prices up, diesel down
    Gasoline prices up, diesel down

    Oil companies announced yesterday a price hike of 50 centavos per liter for gasoline and a rollback of 50 centavos per liter for diesel effective at 6 a.m. today. Independent oil firms were among the first to announce the price adjustment. In an advisory, PTT Philippines, the local subsidiary of Thailand’s biggest oil firm said it cut diesel prices by 50 centavos per liter and increased gasoline prices by 50 centavos per liter. …

  • Lawmakers to review building code provisions
    Lawmakers to review building code provisions

    Lawmakers are set to review provisions of the National Building Code and Republic Act 10121, or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, to strengthen contingencies and policies to prepare the country for possible major earthquakes. The move came following proposals from Reps. Winston Castelo of Quezon City and Lito Atienza of the Buhay party-list to review the two laws and other regulations during a hearing of the House committee on Metro Manila development on the …

  • Noy: Phl may attain first world status with continued reforms
    Noy: Phl may attain first world status with continued reforms

    The Philippines’ attaining first world status may soon be imminent if significant reforms initiated by the current administration would be consistently pursued, President Aquino suggested yesterday. “Kung madidiligan ang ating mga pinunla, at makaka-graduate ang mga pinag-aaral natin upang makapasok sa maaayos na trabaho, baka po tuluyan nang nasa first world status tayo sa panahong iyon (If we water the seeds sown and those we sent to school will find better jobs, then time will come that …

  • Phl won’t recognize China air restrictions
    Phl won’t recognize China air restrictions

    The Philippines will not recognize restrictions on air and sea travel set by China in the West Philippine Sea, President Aquino said yesterday. “We will still fly the routes that we fly based on international law and the various conventions, agreements that have been entered into through various decades,” Aquino told reporters in an ambush interview after inspecting the Marikina Elementary School in preparation for the opening of classes in June. “Maybe we should not think about getting …

  • Rainy season likely in 2nd week of June
    Rainy season likely in 2nd week of June

    Filipinos may have to wait until the second or third week of June for rain, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said yesterday. Rene Paciente, chief of PAGASA’s marine meteorological services section, said they expect the rainy season to start in the second or third week of June. The criteria for declaring the onset of the rainy season include the prevalence of the southwest monsoon and the 25-millimeter rainfall recorded in at least five …

  • UN urged to probe torture cases under Noy’s term
    UN urged to probe torture cases under Noy’s term

    The United Nations has been asked to look into   110 cases of torture and numerous cases of illegal arrests during the Aquino administration. Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary-general, yesterday said the matter could be looked into when the United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) visits from May 25 to June 3 to monitor the  implementation of the Optional protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OpCAT), which the Philippines ratified in 2012. “We enjoin the UN SPT to …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options