Maharlika CEO: All cases filed against me have been dismissed
MANILA, Philippines — The newly appointed head of Maharlika Investment Corp. (MIC), the company that will manage the country’s first-ever sovereign wealth fund, on Tuesday doused speculation on social media that there were pending court cases against him.
In a statement sent to Malacañang reporters, MIC president and chief executive officer Rafael Consing Jr. said: “All cases filed against me have been dismissed.”
He made the remarks in response to concerns raised on X (formerly Twitter) by some netizens, including journalist Raissa Robles and economist Enrico Villanueva.
Speculation on Consing’s alleged cases floated on social media hours after the Palace announced him as president of MIC, two days after the revised implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) No. 11954, or the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) Act.
On Monday night, Robles posted on X: “Hi @pcogovph, did Malacañang check that Rafael D. Consing Jr. appears to be a respondent in a fraud case involving him and his mom Cecilia dela Cruz? The same case IDs him as an ‘investment banker.’”
Hours earlier, Villanueva said on X: “A Rafael Jose Consing Jr., with mother surnamed Dela Cruz, is cited in court documents as respondent to civil and criminal cases alleging sale of land owned by others. A legal site describes him as an investment banker. Press, please check if this is MIF CEO.”
He cited the revised IRR of RA 11954 which stated that board directors of the MIC will be disqualified if the following conditions were present five years before their appointment to the MIC:
• If the person was convicted by final judgment of an offense punishable by more than six years imprisonment; if the person was found administratively liable for any offense involving fraudulent acts;
• If the person was convicted by final judgment or found liable by a foreign court or equivalent foreign regulatory authority for acts, violations, or misconduct; or if the person has a pending administrative, civil or criminal case relating to fraud, plunder, corrupt practices, money laundering tax evasion, or any similar crimes involving misuse of fund in the person’s possession or breach of trust.
“Maharlika Investment Corp. is in ‘good’ hands. Appointed CEO Rafael Consing Jr. was involved in a fraud case,” Villanueva said.
Suit and countersuit
In his message forwarded to reporters, Consing did not say the nature of the cases that were dismissed, or when these were dismissed.
A check with the E-Library of the Supreme Court showed that the case referred to in social media was G.R. No. 161075, dated July 15, 2013, titled “Rafael Jose Consing Jr., petitioner, v. People of the Philippines, respondent.”
In its summary of events, it said Consing negotiated with and obtained for himself and his mother, Cecilia dela Cruz, various loans totaling P18 million from Unicapital Inc. that were secured by a real estate mortgage on a property in Cavite province registered under the name of Dela Cruz.
In accordance with its option to purchase the mortgaged property, Unicapital agreed to buy half of the property for P21.22 million and payment was made by offsetting the amounts due to Unicapital under the promissory notes of Dela Cruz and Consing amounting to P18 million and P3.15 million in cash. The other half of the property was bought by Plus Builders Inc., a joint venture partner of Unicapital.
Before Unicapital and Plus Builders could develop the property, they learned that the title to the property was TCT No. 114708 in the names of Po Willie Yu and Juanito Tan Teng, the parties from whom the property had been allegedly acquired by Dela Cruz, and that TCT No. 687599 held by Dela Cruz appeared to be spurious.
Unicapital demanded the return of the total amount of P41.38 million as of April 19, 1999, that had been paid to and received by Dela Cruz and Consing, but the latter allegedly ignored the demands.
On July 22, 1999, Consing filed Civil Case No. 1759 at the Pasig City Regional Trial Court (RTC) for injunctive relief, seeking to enjoin Unicapital from proceeding to collect from him on the ground that he had acted as a mere agent of his mother.
On the same date, Unicapital initiated a criminal complaint for estafa through falsification of public documents against Consing and Dela Cruz at the Makati City Prosecutor’s Office.
On Aug. 6, 1999, Unicapital sued Consing at the RTC in Makati City (Civil Case No. 99-1418) for the recovery of a sum of money and damages, with an application for a writ of preliminary attachment.
Supreme Court decision
The case reached the Supreme Court when Consing filed the petition pertaining to a prejudicial question in the civil cases pending between him and Unicapital/Plus Builders in the trial courts in Pasig City and Makati City.
In its decision, the high court denied Consing’s petition, saying “[a]n independent civil action based on fraud initiated by the defrauded party does not raise a prejudicial question to stop the proceedings in a pending criminal prosecution of the defendant for estafa through falsification. This is because the result of the independent civil action is irrelevant to the issue of guilt or innocence of the accused.” INQ