MANILA, Philippines -- The criminal complaint against shareholders Green Cross Inc. has been dismissed by a local court.
An order issued by Judge Eugenio Dela Cruz of Branch 117 of the Pasay City regional trial court granted the motion to quash filed by the company?s shareholders, led by Anthony Co, in which they sought the dismissal of the information for the crime against them by Gonzalo Co It, founder of Green Cross Alcohol.
Citing Rule 117 Section 3 (g), the lower court said the crime charged had been extinguished.
Aside from Anthony Co, other respondents in the case are Mary Co Cho, Nancy D. Co, So Hua T. Co aka Lucy Co, Michael Anthony Co, Ann Marie Co Imperial, Joana Liza Co Yap, Jim Lewis T. Co, Nessie Pearl Co Chan, Sandy L. Chan, Mark David C. Cho, Dick Milton C, Cho, and Peter A. Co.
The charges were filed against these shareholders after the justice department found probable cause to indict them based on the complaint filed by Co It. Co It accused his brothers, sisters, nephews, and nieces and some in-laws of allegedly defrauding him of his shareholdings in Green Cross, Inc. (formerly known as Gonzalo Laboratories, Inc.) amounting to hundreds of millions of pesos.
But Anthony Co countered that the complaint had been prescribed because the crime was committed in 1986 and the case was filed more than 20 years later.
In dismissing the information, the lower court relied on the Certificate of Increase of Capital Stock of the Gonzalo Laboratories, Incorporated dated Dec. 29, 1986 where Co allegedly misappropriated capital stocks in Gonzalo Laboratories which were only entrusted to him.
The court took note of the fact that Co It had his signature over the document, therefore, he could not claim that he only discovered of the misappropriation only in 2006.
"The prosecution sought to evade the effects of the Certificate of Increase document by alleging that it was only during the preliminary investigation before the DoJ that the private complainant first saw the document?But that self-serving assertion of the private complainant and of the prosecution is belied by the very document that the prosecution itself presented as part of its evidence for this case," the court added.
Co said he and his co-respondents were happy that the judge had ruled in their favor.