PCGG: Cojuangco got loan because of his close ties with Marcos | Inquirer News

PCGG: Cojuangco got loan because of his close ties with Marcos

/ 05:03 AM April 14, 2011

MANILA, Philippines—“The key here is how he [Cojuangco] got the (SMC) shares. Did he use public funds to get shares?” said Andres Bautista, chair of the Presidential Commission on Good Government.

“The issue is, he said he borrowed the money. But the question is, ‘Would he be able to borrow the money without his close association with the Marcoses?’ Why were those monies, which he obtained with the use of influence, used to purchase shares?” he said.

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The PCGG will likely ask the Supreme Court to reconsider its decision declaring Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr. the owner of 20 percent of San Miguel Corp. (SMC), which the government had sequestered for being “ill-gotten.”

PCGG Chair Bautista said the commission was inclined to make the move upon official receipt of the Supreme Court decision released on Tuesday.

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“We’ll study our next move, which might be to file a motion for reconsideration. That’s the likely option,” Bautista said when reached by phone Wednesday.

The Supreme Court said Cojuangco legitimately acquired 20 percent of SMC, junking PCGG charges that the block of shares was ill-acquired through coco levy funds.

“I have not read the decision and I note that the voting was 7-4 (seven justices in favor, four justices dissenting). There is still, to my mind, hope,” Bautista said.

Dissenters’ points

He said he would particularly be interested in reading points that the four dissenters raised in deciding against Cojuangco, President Benigno Aquino III’s uncle.

The PCGG chair maintained the commission’s position that Cojuangco had used his influence to “borrow” money from United Coconut Planters Bank, acquired using coconut levy funds, that the businessman headed as president and CEO.

Bautista said the PCGG would have 15 days upon receipt of the decision to file its motion for reconsideration.

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