Plan holders file suit vs Yuchengco, PPI
Hundreds of plan holders of the shuttered Pacific Plans Inc. (PPI) trooped to the Department of Justice on Monday to file a class suit against former Ambassador Alfonso Yuchengco and his fellow majority owners in the bankrupt pre-need firm.
This is the second syndicated estafa case filed against Yuchengco and PPI and its directors for failing to live up to their open-ended educational plans after the Department of Justice (DOJ) dismissed in 2013 a similar case from a different group, Parents Enabling Parents Coalition (PEP), a group of plan holders led by Victoria Gomez-Jacinto.
An estimated 450 shareholders clad in white shirts and carrying small banners lined up at the DOJ to file 840 counts of syndicated estafa by means of deceit and by abuse of confidence and another 77 cases specific to PPI Lifetime Plans holders.
“We are focusing all our efforts to delivering this case to court and getting the justice the disenfranchised plan holders deserve. With the close cooperation of the plan holders who spent a lot of time, effort and resources, it took over a year to organize the case and get it to where it is,” said lawyer Joshua Santiago of the complainant, Pacific-APEC Plans Legal Complaint Group (PAP-LCG).
In the group’s complaint, PAP-LCG said: “Most of us are vendors, school teachers, domestic helpers and ordinary employees, and we were tricked [into] shelling out up to P100,000 over 15 years, with the promise that we would receive triple the amount when the time comes to retire, or our children went to college or for treatment of illnesses due to old age.”
Aside from Yuchengco, his coaccused in the case include Alfonso Yuchengco III, Ambrosio Padilla, George Dee, Helen Dee and Paul Sycip.
Santiago said the complainants were insulted that the Yuchengco firm offered peanuts for their education and life insurance policies that were lost when PPI went belly up in 2005 due to financial problems. It has since reformed into another entity, Abundance Providers and Entrepreneurs Corp. (APEC). He said one shareholder was offered a P400,000 quit claim on an insurance policy worth P6 million.
The class suit by the Pacific-APEC Plans Legal Complaint Group is not the first time plan holders have tried to recover their lost investments. Santiago said the PEP group lost their case because the DOJ ruled that it “failed to prove that respondents committed any unlawful act or carried out transactions of soliciting funds from the public by way of investments in fraudulent scheme.”
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