PCGG urged to nix deal with Lucio Tan brother

PCGG urged to nix deal with Lucio Tan brother

By Norman Bordadora
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 07:16:00 09/21/2009

MANILA, Philippines—The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) wants the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) to turn down a proposed immunity agreement with Mariano Tanenglian in exchange for his testimony against his estranged brother, tycoon Lucio Tan, in a Marcos ill-gotten wealth case.

In a nine-page memorandum to PCGG Chair Camilo Sabio, Solicitor General Agnes Devanadera said the proposed agreement would be “grossly disadvantageous” to the Philippine government.
“Up to this time, Tanenglian has not given the PCGG any new information that could perhaps further strengthen the republic’s case. He merely relies on documents already available to the republic,” Devanadera said.

Devanadera said there was no certainty that Tanenglian would provide useful information at all despite his commitment to do so once the immunity agreement is executed.
“This being so, the proposal of Tanenglian is grossly disadvantageous to the Republic,” she added.

Under the immunity agreement, Tanenglian commits to cooperate with the government in the ill-gotten wealth case, Civil Case No. 005, by providing information relevant to the case and by making himself available as a witness for the republic if requested.In exchange for his testimony, Tanenglian expects to be dropped from among the respondents in the case which is related to the Marcoses’ alleged stake in Lucio Tan’s companies.

He also wants to be granted immunity in connection with other cases related to the Lucio Tan group of companies.

Tanenglian had a recent falling out with his brother over personal and corporate differences.
The OSG said Tanenglian’s proposal to make admissions on the existence of vital documents or marked exhibits for the government as stated “would serve no useful purpose.”

“(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,” the OSG said.

Devanadera said the PCGG could better rely on the veracity of Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr.’s voluntary testimony for the government, without immunity or any concessions, having seen or identified these vital documents.

The OSG also questioned the motives of Tanenglian in offering himself as a government witness against his own brother.

“Tanenglian’s motives are obscure. If Tanenglian is only protecting his existing interest in the Lucio Tan Group of companies, then why does he need to execute an immunity agreement if, in the opinion of his counsels, the prosecution in Civil Case No. 005 is weak,” the OSG said .

No comments: