1977 bank case haunts Lucio Tan, Marcoses

1977 bank case haunts Lucio Tan, Marcoses
by Macon Araneta

THE Sandiganbayan on Friday ordered taipan Lucio Tan, his brother Mariano Tanenglian and the estate of the late president Ferdinand Marcos to comment on the motion of the stockholders of the General Bank and Trust Company, now Allied Bank, which sought to transfer to them their shares of stocks or beneficial interest over Allied Bank.

The complaint-in-intervention, filed last December 10 by General Bank stockholders through their counsel Catalino Generillo, also asked the graft court’s fifth division for an alternative, and that is to order Allied Bank to pay them an amount equivalent to the value of the total assets of General Bank worth P688.20 million as of March 29, 1977.

The stockholders are Aderito Yuyuico, Martina Gutierrez, Augusto Carpio, Ma. Trinidad Kalaw, Zenaida Santiago, Lourdes Yujuico and Rosa Caram. They said that in 1977, Tan in connivance with the late president and Mrs. Marcos, former Central Bank Gov. Gregorio Licaros and Panfilo Domingo of PNB, fraudulently acquired control of General Bank, which eventually became Allied Bank.

The fifth division, chaired by Associate Justice Roland Jurado, gave Tan five days from January 7 to file his comment.

Only Tan’s counsel, Orlando Santiago, the partner of lawyer Estelito Mendoza, appeared during the hearing.

The other defendants, former first lady now Rep. Imelda Marcos, Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Imee Marcos-Manotoc and Irene Marcos-Araneta, were directed to file their comment five days upon receipt of the anti-graft court’s order.

The Marcoses’ lawyer Robert Sison failed to attend the hearing as he was recovering from dengue.

Tanenglian’s counsel Raymundo Quiroz, said he had a prior commitment.

Since it was only Generillo and Santiago who were present in court, Jurado opted to issue an order.

Also named as defendants in the six-page complaint-in-intervention are the heirs of former PNB president Panfilo O. Domingo, estate/heirs of former Central Bank Gov. Gregorio Licaros, Carmen Khao Tan, Florencio T. Santos, Natividad P. Santos, Domingo Chua, Tan Hui Nee, estate of Benito Tan Kee Hiong (represented by Tarciana C. Tan), Florencio N. Santos, Jr., Harry C. Tan, Tan Eng Chan, Chung Poe Kee, Mariano Khoo, Manuel Khoo, Miguel Khoo, Jaime Khoo, Elizabeth Khoo, Celso C. Ranola, William T. Wong, Ernesto B. Lim, Willy Co, Shareholdings, Inc. and Basic Holding Corp.

Asked on the apparent delay in the filing of the intervention, Generillo told MST that under the law, intervention may be filed at any time before the court passes judgment on the case.

But he added that no action was taken by the plaintiffs-intervenors in the past years because they thought the former Presidential Commission on Good Government would block the intervention.

Generillo told the court that as stockholders of General Bank, the plaintiff-intervenors have an interest in the subject matter of the case.

"Only through intervention could they protect and enforce their right," said Generillo as he stated that Aderito Yujuico was authorized by the other plaintiffs-intervenors to file the intervention based on a Special Power of Attorney.

Generillo asserted that the claim of the plaintiff-intervenors over Allied Bank as successor of GBTC and/or the assets of Allied Bank is based on constructive trust, which is the appropriate remedy against unjust enrichment.

He explained that constructive trust is raised by equity in respect of property, which has been acquired by fraud, or where, although acquired originally without fraud, it is against equity that it should be retained by a person holding it.

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