Ongpin gets 60-day reprieve from SEC sanction | Inquirer Business
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Ongpin gets 60-day reprieve from SEC sanction

/ 12:16 AM August 03, 2016

Businessman Roberto V. Ongpin has obtained temporary court relief from the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) bid to impose heavy sanctions against him for alleged insider trading.

Acting on Ongpin’s petition, the Court of Appeals said in a ruling dated Aug. 1  that the SEC must suspend the implementation of its sanctions against Ongpin for the next 60 days. A hearing has been set for Aug. 23 and 24  to  determine whether a preliminary injunction is warranted.

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The SEC en banc earlier slapped Ongpin with a P174-million fine for allegedly using insider information to profit from the trading of Philex Mining shares in 2009, when the First Pacific group was still scrambling to gain a controlling stake in the mining firm. This is the first and only case of insider trading so far decided by the SEC en banc under the Securities and Regulation Code (SRC).

Apart from the monetary penalty, SEC also disqualified Ongpin from holding any post in any issuer corporation. Ongpin, founder of property developer Alphaland Corp., also chairs listed companies Philweb Corp. and Atok Big Wedge Co. Inc.

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Ongpin decried the insider trading charge lodged against him by the SEC as “erroneous” and “grossly unfair.”

In explaining the temporary restraining order it had issued, the CA said: “The damage to be suffered, if any, is not quantifiable in terms of monetary value and cannot be remedied under any standard compensation.”

“In so ruling, we considered not the amount of fine imposed on Ongpin but the penalty of disqualification and the order for him to relinquish or resign from the positions of director or officer, the extent of which affects not only the company, Philex, but all other public and publicly listed corporations,” the CA said.

Ongpin said the penalties imposed on him by the SEC were “cruel and unusual punishment” requiring him to resign from all listed companies and effectively forcing him to go out of business and terminate his business career.

The SEC made Ongpin liable for 174 counts of insider trading in violation of the SRC. It slapped the maximum fine of P1 million for each of the 174 transactions.

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TAGS: Business, businessman, economy, News, reprieve, Roberto V. Ongpin, sanction, SEC, Securities and Exchange Commission
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