S.C. RULING AFTERMATH
Danding Cojuangco wants PCA to payBy Christine O. Avendaño
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The camp of business tycoon Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco is mulling the possibility of demanding compensation from the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) following the Supreme Court’s final ruling last month that the government owns Cojuangco’s shares in United Coconut Planter’s Bank (UCPB).
Lawyer Estelito Mendoza on Thursday said they were still studying the amount of compensation they would require.
Mendoza said the high court, in its November 2012 ruling which became final last month, had declared as valid the May 25, 1975, agreement between Cojuangco and the PCA, providing for the transfer to the businessman by way of compensation of 10 percent of the 72.22 percent shares of stock that PCA purchased using the coco levy funds.
Cojuangco was paid the shares of stock after negotiating PCA’s acquisition of First United Bank (FUB), which was later renamed UCPB and which became the depository of the coco levy funds.
Mendoza said the high court ruled that the shares of stock paid to Cojuangco was with “valuable consideration,” which was why they found “absurd” and “astonishing” its same order declaring that these shares should be forfeited to the government.
“The government already received the benefits, the bank is theirs and yet it will forfeit the payment to Mr. Cojuangco but it will keep the fruit of his services,” Mendoza said, counting the UCPB building in Makati City among the “fruits” of his client’s services.
“So for the services he rendered, he received no compensation,” he added.
That was why he said he was thinking of demanding PCA for compensation.
Even if the high court ruling has become final, Mendoza said he will submit a “manifestation” of what they thought of the decision.
But he clarified that the high court ruling should not give the impression that his client acquired his UCPB shares illegally or that he stole the shares or the money used to purchase it from the government.
Mendoza said it was the PCA, acting on behalf of coconut farmers who wanted to have a bank to attend to their needs and that of the industry, which requested Cojuangco to assign his option to purchase shares in FUB.