Farmers urge SC to recover coconut funds in fullBy Tetch Torres
MANILA, Philippines—Coconut farmers on Thursday trooped to the Supreme Court and demanded a full recovery of the multi-billion coco levy funds.
In a three-page complaint, the coconut farmers urged the Committee on Ethics and Ethical Standards through its head Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to investigate the questionable April 12, 2011 declaring that the 20 percent share holdings in San Miguel Corporation of businessman Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco is not ill-gotten.
The April 2011 decision involved three consolidated petitions filed by the Presidential Commission on Good Gov’t. (PCGG) against the Sandiganbayan, Cojuangco, and several others, including former President Ferdinand Marcos, and former First Lady Imelda R. Marcos. The first civil case was filed on July 31, 1987, over a year after the EDSA people power revolt.
The high court said the government failed to establish enough evidence to show that the shares were illegally acquired.
The farmers said the April 2011 ruling is in conflict with the high court’s decision in January this year where it ruled that another block of SMC shares representing 27 percent or 33,133,266 of the total capital stock of the company was owned by the government and should be used exclusively for the benefit of the coconut farmers.