Coconut farmers’ groups seek review of SC ruling vs UCPB
Three big coconut farmers’ groups on Tuesday supported the appeal by an industry leader for the Supreme Court to review a controversial decision that ruled against United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB) in a P1.43-billion real estate mortgage case.
In a joint statement, Efren Villaseñor, president of Confederation of Coconut Farmers Organizations of the Philippines; Mao Andong Jr., vice president of Pambansang Koalisyon ng mga Samahang Magsasaka at Manggagawa sa Niyugan; and Oscar Solidor, president of Alyansa sa Timawang Mag-uugmad sa Amihanang Mindanao said the Aug. 16, 2017, decision of the high court’s Third Division could potentially strip the struggling coconut sector of more than P1 billion in needed support funding.
Villaseñor, Andong and Solidor were former members of UCPB board.
The decision, written by now Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin, found UCPB liable to pay a couple and other parties P430 million in cash and return properties with aggregate amount of around P1 billion.
Last week, Jesus Arranza, a former UCPB director, wrote the high court seeking a review of the decision and investigation of justices for possible violation of the Constitution and the tribunal’s own rules.
Arranza had questioned how the decision was reached considering that two of the justices who voted on it were named to the division a few days before the release of the decision.
“On its face, the decision is absurd,” Andong said. —Jerome Aning
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