Sycip scion, 4 associates indicted in ownership row
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has approved the filing of another criminal case against the son of the late respected business leader Washington Sycip and four of his business associates over the dispute in the ownership of P564 million worth of shares in a tuna canning company.
The indictment of businessman George Sycip was issued after a Pasig City Metropolitan Trial Court ordered his arrest for a connected complaint for violation of the Marcos-era edict Batas Pambansa Bilang 68, or the Corporation Code of the Philippines.
The complaints against Sycip and his fellow executives at Alliance Select Foods International Inc. — Annsley Bangkas, Alvin Dee, Jonathan Dee and Ibarra Malonzo — stemmed from their falling-out with former business partners Harvest All Investment Ltd., Victory Fund Ltd. and Bondeast Private Ltd.
In a four-page review resolution, the DOJ annulled the decision issued by Prosecution Attorney Loverhette Jeffrey Villordon on Aug. 1, 2017, junking the complaint filed by Alliance stockholder Hedy Yap-Chua against Sycip et al.
Chua had accused them of arbitrarily withholding the financial and corporate records of the publicly listed tuna canning firm from its stockholders.
“The … series of events and eventually the access rules and confidentiality undertaking … lead us to believe that the respondents refuse to accede to the right of the complainant to inspect the corporate records,” read a portion of the DOJ ruling dated March 20, which was released on June 4.
“The argument of [the] respondents … must fail for [their] failure to present evidence of the actual receipt of said documents,” it added.
The resolution was issued by Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Emilie Fe delos Santos and was approved by acting Prosecutor General Jorge Catalan Jr.
The DOJ also reversed its two previous resolutions, which threw out the complaint filed by Harvest All, Victory Fund and Bondeast against Sycip and his business associates in 2014.
Another Alliance stockholder, Albert Hong Hin Kay, had asked the company’s board of directors in January 2014 to let him scrutinize the company’s financial records after it suffered “substantial financial downturn.”
The respondents, however, rejected Kay’s request twice as they referred the matter to the seafood producer’s legal counsels and the entire board of directors.
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