Lucio Tan’s brother insists on testifying

By Edson C. Tandoc Jr
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Posted date: March 24, 2010

MANILA, Philippines—Businessman Mariano Tanenglian has appealed the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan's ruling denying his offer to testify against his own brother, magnate Lucio Tan, in the government's 22-year-old forfeiture case.

In a motion for reconsideration, Tanenglian asked the Sandiganbayan's Fifth Division to reconsider and set aside its ruling last month that denied all his three motions filed last year asking to be allowed to tell all he knew against his brother.

The government wants to prove that Tan’s assets form part of the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses so it could seize these in favor of the state. Tanenglian is also a defendant in a civil case but after a falling out with his brother he offered to be a government witness in exchange for immunity.

Last month, the court denied Tanenglian's September 2009 manifestation and motion which asked the court to direct the Presidential Commission on Good Government to resolve his offer to be a government witness, to reopen the trial so he could testify and to order the PCGG and the Office of the Solicitor General to give him copies of their recommendation and resolution that purportedly junked his offer to testify.

The court ruled that directing the PCGG to act on Tanenglian’s offer and to provide him copies of documents against him were beyond its jurisdiction and that it was "absurd" for Tanenglian to ask for the reopening of trial considering that he was one of the defendants.

The court also faulted the prosecution for failing to present all of its witnesses despite being given sufficient time to do so.

But in his appeal, Tanenglian said his motion only asked the court to direct the PCGG to resolve his offer, not necessarily to resolve it in his favor.

Tanenglian said: "It is respectfully submitted therefore that the motion to direct resolution does not seek impingement on any of the exclusive powers of the PCGG."

He said that it also comes with the court's power to direct the PCGG to resolve his offer, to direct the PCGG and the OSG to furnish him with copies of their resolutions about his offer.

Tanenglian also argued that the conditions the court cited in faulting the prosecution for wasting several chances to present evidence "is no longer existing" following his readiness and willingness to cooperate with the government.

Last month, the court also denied the omnibus motion of private lawyer Catalino Generillo that sought the reopening of the trial so Tanenglian could testify.

The court said Generillo, who had helped the prosecution until the OSG kicked him out of the case more than a year ago, was no longer a “real party in interest” in the case.

Generillo also appealed the court’s ruling.


Anonymous said...

All Villar did was, well, the same thing Lucio Tan did, and Lucio Tan has a far more valid claim to having once been poor, having true bote-dyaryo origins. You do not become a billionaire by sympathizing with the poor, you become a billionaire by screwing the poor. By selling cigarettes as a cancerous crony, by resorting to diversions, extensions and outright dispossession of others long before you become a senator.

Anonymous said...

A new business tack

Mr. Tan’s latest business tack of opening up and tying up with other big business names is a far cry from his previous one, when the once-reclusive tycoon preferred to closely hold his family enterprises. For one, nobody would have thought that he would agree to a joint venture arrangement between his Fortune Tobacco Corp. and rival Philip Morris.

The grapevine said it was not far-fetched that the Tan-Ayala collaboration could extend to China, where Tan owns quite a number of prime properties in the Chinese mainland.

Tan has a huge waterfront property in his home province of Xiamen that faces the Taiwan Strait. He also owns prime pieces of real estate in Shenzen, Beijing and the northern port city of Dalian, where the tycoon is reportedly close to completing one of the tallest skyscrapers in that area. He owns the 400-room, five-star Eton Hotel at the heart of Shanghai’s Pudong District, which is just minutes away from the site of the Shanghai World Expo that will open in May.

The grapevine said a partnership in China would bring the Ayala group’s businesses in the world’s largest market. The Ayalas, too, could use Mr. Tan’s close ties to the Chinese central government. El Kapitan’s five-star Century Park Hotel has been the choice residence of visiting Chinese dignitaries from Jiang Xemin to the current sitting president Hu Jintao.

ABS said...

SB junks with finality plea on reopening of raps vs. Lucio Tan

MANILA, April 29 (PNA) -- The anti-graft court Sandiganbayan on Thursday denied with finality the plea against businessman Lucio Tan filed by his own brother in connection with the re-opening of the case against him seeking to prove that his assets are owned by the Marcoses.

In a five-page resolution penned by Associate Justice Roland Jurado, the Sandiganbayan 5th Division denied the motion for reconsideration filed by Mariano Tanenglian due to lack of merit.

The anti-graft court also dismissed the plea of Tan's brother to order the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) to grant him immunity from suit if ever he testifies against Tan.

"After a careful study on the grounds invoked by defendant Mariano Tanenglian in his Motion and the comment thereon by the defendants Lucio C. Tan et al, and the plaintiff Republic of the Philippines, this Court resolves to deny the instant Motion," the resolution said.

Concurring in the decision were Associate Justices Teresita Diaz-Baldos and Napoleon Inoturan.

The Sandiganbayan opined that the MR filed by Tanenglian last March 15, 2010 did not raise new arguments which would warrant a reversal of their ruling last Feb. 12, 2010.

"This Court agrees with the defendants Lucio C. Tan, et al, and the plaintiff Republic of the Philippines that the issues raised by defendant Tanenglian in the instant Motion for Reconsideration are exactly the same issues raised in his Motion to Direct PCGG and OSG to resolve his application for immunity, Motion to Reopen Trial for the reception of additional evidence for the plaintiff and Motion to be furnished copies of the OSG recommendation and the PCGG Resolution. Said issues have been ruled upon, addressed and discussed by this Court in the assailed Resolution," the ruling said.

The anti-graft court earlier ruled that it was "without jurisdiction to direct the PCGG to act on, much less accept, the offer of defendant Tanenglian to be a witness".

Since Tanenglian was also a defendant in the case, it was "absurd" of him, instead of the government, to ask for a reopening of the trial, the Sandiganbayan said.

It even faulted the prosecution for failing to present all its witnesses despite being given every chance to do so during a full-blown trial.

The Sandiganbayan said that they were given several chances and sufficient time to present their evidence.

However, the anti-graft court said, from the start of the presentation of its evidence, it has repeatedly requested for postponements and cancellations of hearings due to lack of witnesses, aside from other reasons.

The Sandiganbayan recently opined that ex-PCGG lawyer Catalino Generillo is not a real party of interest and has no legal personality anymore to represent the case after he was sacked by the government to act as lawyer for the case.

Hence, the anti-graft court said, Generillo cannot ask for a reopening of the case.

It pointed out that Generillo cannot claim ownership over the (documents of the said case) as the said works are the result of the performance of his regularly-assigned duties, hence, ownership belongs to his employer, the PCGG.

The Marcoses claimed that they owned 60 percent of the corporations of Tan.

Nevertheless, the Philippine government and the Marcoses cannot produce the originals of the documents supposedly proving that Tan acted as a dummy for the late strongman.

The said corporations of Tan which were allegedly claimed by the Marcoses are Fortune Tobacco Corp.: Asia Brewery, Inc.; Allied Banking Corp.; Foremost Farms; Himmel Industries, Inc.; Grandspan Development Corp.: Silangan Holdings, Inc.; Dominium Realty and Construction Corp. and Shareholdings, Inc.

Anonymous said...

"We are incensed at the DoJ, OSG, and PCGG heads' rejection of Mariano Tanenglian's offer to serve as state witness in exchange for immunity when the conditions all seem favorable to the government, and thus, to the Filipino people. We want to find out why Catalino Generillo, a former PCGG lawyer who seem to have done an excellent job at finding documents and proofs, has been removed from the case. We want to know exactly what these government agencies and the local government of Ilocos Sur have done, or have failed to do, in response to the alleged tax evasion and foul business practices of controversial tycoon Lucio Tan, and why all these questions still have no clear answers until now," exclaimed Casiño.

Anonymous said...

Rumor is that Noynoy refused his offer for campaign assistance (maybe he knows something we don’t) and Philip Morris has been knocking on their doors for quite some time, the offer was good, so he took it. The Philippines consumes around 90 billion sticks of cigarettes per year, 60% of that is from Fortune Tobacco while PM supplies 30%, the rest is shared by smaller players ie La Suerte, Mighty Corporation, etc…PM has taken over the management. So the once old, manual, fortress like compound is now abuzz with so many changes (SAP, etc). The management team is composed of Malaysians, Filipinos, etc. that it looks like a ASEAN during meetings…
…Lucio Tan may be chuckling to himself, whatever happens, lets see them go after PM, they’ll have the US embassy to contend with…