Senator Roxas to gov't: Move fast to attach Legacy assets

Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas last Friday asked three government agencies to move fast to attach the assets of businessman Celso de los Angeles and his failed Legacy Group of Companies to protect planholders and investors from losing their investment.

Roxas made the call after transmitting to the three government agencies copies of documentary and testimonial evidence gathered by the Senate in its investigation into the Legacy mess triggered by an inquiry into the financial problems of the pre-need industry.

Senator Mar Roxas comforts a crying Bernadette Raymundo who told Roxas that she lost her life's savings because of the collapse of the Rural Bank of Subangdaku, one of the 13 Legacy banks that collapsed because of mismanagement by controversial businessman Celso de los Angeles. Roxas met Raymundo at the assembly hall of Siliman University in Dumaguete City yesterday during a forum with victims of the Legacy collapse organized by the Parents Enabling Parents (PEP) Coalition.

He said the documents from the Senate hearing transmitted to the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC), the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice (DoJ) are more than enough to cause the attachment of De los Angeles' assets, many of which are part of the trust fund of the two collapsed Legacy pre-need companies and the assets of the 13 Legacy banks that declared bankruptcy late last year.

He said the evidence also prove allegations that De los Angeles engaged in illegal business transactions and diverted Legacy funds for his personal use.
"Considering the seriousness of these allegations, we trust that your office will conduct an in-depth investigation on the matter and expeditiously act to cause the attachment of all assets that may have been acquired using the trust fund and deposit accounts of Legacy policy holders and depositors," he said in separate letters sent to PDIC president Jose Nograles, SEC chairperson Fe Barin and Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez.
Documents transmitted to the PDIC includes copies of the Transcript of proceedings of the four committee public hearings (February 2, February 10, March 2 and March 9) and the sworn affidavits of former Legacy chief executive officer Carolina Hinola, chief finance officer Namnama Pasetes-Santos, Paul Montenegro, Myrna Axalan and Jeannette Ortiz.

The SEC and the DoJ, on the other hand, were given copies of the Transcript of proceedings of the 4th public hearing last March 9 and sworn affidavits of Hinola and Santos.

The Ilonggo senator said the affidavits of Hinola and Santos are relevant to the investigations being conducted by the three offices, particularly on De los Angeles' alleged misuse and misappropriation of the trust funds and bank deposit accounts of the Legacy group of companies.

Also, the Senate committee wrote House Speaker Prospero Nograles and furnished his office certified true copies of the sworn affidavit of Santos and vouchers and checks showing the disbursement of a total of P1.8 million to Paranaque Rep. Eduardo Zialcita drawn from Legacy' pre-need trust fund.

Santos had testified that Legacy Consolidated Plans Inc. (LCPI) paid Zialcita a consultancy fee of P100,000 monthly on the instructions of De los Angeles. The checks, she claimed, were received by the congressman's former secretary identified as one Leila Omana.

Zialcita is a second cousin of SEC Commissioner Jesus Martinez, who has been accused of "protecting" Legacy's interests within the SEC. Witnesses have alleged the Legacy group paid for a P5 million house and lot in Paranaque that Martinez gave his son.
"In observance of the inter-parliamentary courtesy customarily practiced by members of both houses of Congress, I transmit herewith (these documents) for your reference and in support of whatever action you may deem appropriate under the circumstances," Roxas said.
He added members of the House can examine and verify the original vouchers and checks, which are in the custody and safekeeping of the Senate Blue Ribbon Oversight Office Management (BROOM).

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