OSG rejects Tanenglian’s request to turn state witness
Monday, 21 September 2009 00:00
THE Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) has rejected the application of businessman Mariano Tanenglian to turn “state witness” against his brother, business tycoon Lucio Tan, and several others in connection with the ill-gotten wealth cases filed against them by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG). In a nine page memorandum, Acting Justice Secretary and concurrent Solicitor General Agnes Devanadera recommended to Commission Chairman Camilo Sabio to immediately reject Tanenglian’s “immunity agreement proposal” for being “grossly disadvantageous to the Republic.”
The Office of the Solicitor General made the recommendation after the Commission legal department director J. Ermin Ernest Louie Miguel sought the Devanadera’s opinion on the matter in a letter dated July 13, 2009.
In the same recommendation, Devanadera also said that the businessman has “obscure motives” and the cooperation he offered “would serve no useful purpose” for the government, especially that “such admission would have zero credibility in light of the considerable delay of more than 20 years before he comes out with it, and on the occasion of the eventful rift with his co-defendant Lucio Tan.”
“Looking at the instant draft Immunity Agreement, it appears that there are matters of critical concern and consideration that negate its approval and execution . . . In view of the foregoing, the undersigned [Devanadera] respectfully recommend that the draft Immunity Agreement be rejected outright,” the Solicitor General chief said.
Under the said agreement, Tanenglian would testify against his brother and other accuse and provide as well the government, among others, with information relevant to the case.
In exchange, Tanenglian proposed that the Presidential Commission on Good Government grant him and his immediate family both civil and criminal immunity and he should be dropped as well as a defendant in a civil case being pursued by the government.
Tanenglian also asked that all the writs of sequestration, particularly his shares of stocks in the Lucio Tan Group of Companies, be lifted.
Devanadera pointed out that “Tanenglian was even a Treasurer in some of the corporations” and is “named principal defendants who . . . actively collaborated with the Marcoses in the accumulation of ill-gotten wealth.”
Devanadera also warned that the proposed special grant of immunity may be used by Tan and the other defendants, in connivance with Tanenglian, as a scheme to protect their shareholdings by transferring their shares of stocks in favor of Tanenglian.