Hearing of syndicated estafa case filed by Gaisano family stays in Cebu -SC | Inquirer News
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Hearing of syndicated estafa case filed by Gaisano family stays in Cebu -SC

/ 10:41 PM January 27, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court has ordered that the P3.2 billion syndicated estafa case filed by the Gaisano family against several officers of a stock brokerage company be heard in Cebu City.

In a resolution made public Wednesday, the High Court’s 2nd division reversed its March 4, 2020 ruling that allowed the transfer of the case to Makati City.

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The petition for change of the trial’s venue to Makati City was filed by David Wong, Chief Financial Officer of DW Capital Inc. (DWCI). Wong, who remains at-large, is one of the 10 officers of DW Capital who were charged by the Gaisano family.

Wong alleged that the Gaisano family wields power and influence in Cebu City, and is well connected with the business and government sectors there.

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But private complainant Valerie Gaisano-Sebastian argued that the allegation of fear of bias in the petition for change of venue is based on mere suspicion and lacks proof.

She said Wong failed to show proof that her family can influence the Cebu courts.

“It is absurd to pursue [such] line of reasoning, for to do so would force families, like the Sys and the Ayalas, to seek judicial relief in regions where they have no business interests,” she said.

She added that the issue of partiality against the judge and the court officers of Cebu RTC Branch 7 was already rendered moot with the raffle of the case to another branch.

Further, the private complainant pointed out that Wong is not entitled to the transfer of venue since he is considered a fugitive from justice for his failure to submit himself to the jurisdiction of the court after being issued with an arrest warrant.

“In this case, Wong failed to prove any serious and compelling reasons that would warrant the transfer of venue of the case against him,” the High Court ruled.

Earlier, the Gaisano family sought the assistance of the National Bureau of Investigation in tracking down Wong, who is reportedly hiding in Taiwan.

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In her complaint filed in 2018,  Gaisano-Sebastian accused DW Capital of selling her P3.2 billion aggregate investments without first informing her of the transaction.

The missing shares were discovered in July 2017.

The proceeds of the unauthorized sale of shares were allegedly diverted to Wong and most of his family, who are his co-accused and are executives of DWCI.

Following the raffle of the case to Branch 7, Judge Stewart Himalaloan in March 2019 issued a warrant of arrest against the accused officers and personnel.

/MUF

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TAGS: Cebu, David Wong, DWCI, Gaisano, syndicated estafa
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