Lopez Holdings

 

Lopez Group to build 20,000 homes for teachers and policemen should it win disputed E-PCIBank sharesLopez Group chairman Oscar M. Lopez said he will recommend to shareholders of First Philippine Holdings Corporation (FPHC) the donation of half of whatever proceeds the company may be awarded, for its claim over disputed E-PCIBank shares, to build 20,000 homes for teachers and policemen.


Speaking before members of the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines, Lopez said FPHC is pursuing its intervention in the case over the EPCIBank shares now currently being voted by the Romualdez group through Trans Middle East (Philippines) Equity, Inc. (TMEE).

In a Resolution promulgated on June 14, 2006, the Sandiganbayan held that the issuance of a writ of preliminary attachment is not necessary as the shares and dividends thereon will continue to be deposited in escrow..

However, Martin Romualdez, son of Kokoy Romualdez, was able to withdraw P138 million of cash dividends and 30 million shares which were stock dividends of the mother shares..

“What we find shameful and alarming is that the second generation in these illgotten wealth cases, instead of feeling some sense of remorse and thoughts of atonement for the injustices transpired during the Martial Law years, are now taking steps to hold on and personally benefit from these sequestered assets..

We are fighting for our rights in this case as a matter of principle,” Lopez said. In 1996, the Supreme Court upheld the right of FPHC to intervene in the case between the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) and TMEE at the Sandiganbayan since no final determination of ownership has been made..

FPHC wants to recover 51,827,640 Equitable PCIBank shares with a current market value of P3.809 billion (at P73.50 per share in the Philippine Stock Exchange). The shares represent 7.13% of the present outstanding capital stock of Equitable PCIBank. FPHC asserts that “ownership (of Equitable PCIBank) was wrested from it through the use and abuse of power, force, pressure, threats and intimidation” during the Marcos regime..

“After former President Marcos declared martial law in September 1972, he ordered the takeover of Meralco. Eugenio Lopez, Jr. was arbitrarily arrested and placed under indefinite detention. Fernando Lopez was stripped of the Vice 2 Presidency of the Republic. Manila Chronicle and ABS-CBN were closed, and their buildings and equipment were seized without compensation. The Kokoy Romualdez group took control of PCIBank,” narrated Lopez..

He added, “In view of the unconscionable pressure, the use, misuse and abuse of power, the threat and intimidation, for the peace and security of his family, my father, Eugenio Lopez, Sr. had no choice but sign a document agreeing to turn over control and management of Meralco Securities and other Benpres assets to the Marcos-Romualdez group.”.

The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) sequestered the shares in 1986 on the allegation that they are ill-gotten wealth of Benjamin “Kokoy” Romualdez. The Sandiganbayan lifted the sequestration in 2003 but ruled that the shares “be deposited with the Land Bank of the Philippines in escrow for the persons, natural or juridical, who shall eventually be adjudged lawfully entitled thereto.”.

Should FPHC win its claim over the disputed shares, Lopez said he will recommend to shareholders the allocation of at least P2 billion to build 20,000 homes through Gawad Kalinga and Habitat for Humanity, specifically for the benefit of public school teachers and policemen describing them as “hardworking but poorly paid public servants.”.

“We hope and pray that in the end, justice will prevail,” said Lopez.

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Lopez Holdings Corporation 
16/F North Tower, Rockwell Business Center Sheridan, Sheridan St. corner United St., 1550 Bgy. Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City, Philippines

  • Trunkline: (632) 8878 0000
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