Lucio Tan Wins Ill-Gotten Wealth Case

MANILA, Philippines --- The camp of business tycoon Lucio Tan is seeking to regain full ownership of the companies, which he acquired during the administration of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos but were sequestered by the Presidential Commission on Good Governance (PCGG), after the Sandiganbayan junked the ill-gotten wealth charges lodged against him.

The Sandiganbayan recently issued a ruling on Civil Case No. 0005, dismissing the ill-gotten wealth charges against Tan after the PCGG failed to prove he illegally at acquired at least nine companies during the Marcos administration. These include Fortune Tobacco Corp., Asia Brewery, Inc., Allied Banking Corp., Foremost Farms, Himmel Industries, Inc., Grandspan Development Corp., Silangan Holding, Inc., Dominium Realty and Construction Corp. and Shareholdings, Inc. and shares in the Philippine National Bank.

PCGG sequestered some of Tan's stock shares in most of these companies in 1986 pending the result of the ill-gotten case it filed against him.

Despite the previous rulings from Sandiganbayan in 1993 and 2006, which nullified the sequestration, Estelito Mendoza, Tan's legal counsel, stressed PCGG still maintains its hold on the said shares.

"It is Dr. Tan's hope with this decision of the Sandiganbayan, the PCGG will relent in its effort to lay claim and in restricting the exercise of full rights over those properties," said Mendoza as he welcomed the Sandiganbayan verdict.

Mendoza said this in response to the opposition of the PCGG to the merger of Allied Bank, which is part of the Civil Case No.0005, and Philippine National Bank (PNB).

"He trust that with the decision of the Sandiganbayan, the Central Bank, the PDIC (Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation) and the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) will see their way clear to expeditiously give their respective approval to the merger of Allied Bank and PNB," Mendoza said.

"The delay is not only prejudicial to the stockholders but to the banking system and the economy of the country," he added.

Tan is also demanding for P300 million in damages from the government after it lost its P50 billion suit against him.

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