Press Release
March 19, 2009


Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas today warned the Department of Justice from letting itself be duped into accepting a "compromise deal" proposal of Legacy owner Celso de los Angeles that will not be beneficial to the said company's victims.

At the same time, he took issue with Malacañang's Administrative Order No. 258 which creates an inter-agency task force tasked to recommend action to the President after six months.

"Huwag kayong magpapaloko. Unahin ninyo ang kapakanan ng mga niloko ni De los Angeles (Don't be fooled. Prioritize the welfare of those duped by De los Angeles)," he said.

"Alam ni Celso na malilintikan na talaga siya, kaya heto't nakikipag-areglo na. Huwag nating hayaang lokohin na naman tayo at sa huli'y bawas o kaya'y walang mapala ang mga kawawang planholder at depositor ng Legacy (Celso is now negotiating with the government because he knows he'll really get it. Let's not be fooled into accepting something much less or even nothing for Legacy's planholders and depositors)," he said.

The chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade and Commerce meanwhile said Malacañang is just helping De los Angeles escape from his obligations by creating yet another task force that would just complicate the process and buy him time.

The inter-agency task force, to be composed of the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the Departments of Justice and of Labor and Employment, the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board, among others, is separate from the task force already formed by the Justice department to investigate all complaints related to the irregular transactions of all Legacy companies.

"Hustisya ang isinisigaw ng mga biktima, hindi isa pang 'Task Force Pagong.' Sabi nga nila, 'pag justice pagong, just tiis na lang, (The victims are crying out for immediate justice, not another 'Task Force Turtle.' Justice delayed is justice denied)," he said.

"Kung six months pa bago sila magkakaroon ng rekomendasyon, talagang tinutulungan lang ng Malacañang na makatakas itong si De los Angeles. Ginagawa lang nilang komplikado ang proseso (If action would be done six months henceforth, then the Palace is just helping de los Angeles escape. They're just making the process too complicated)," he said.

"Sabihin na nating may nailabas na rekomendasyon ang DOJ task force ngayong Abril, ibig sabihin ba nito maghihintay pa tayo ng anim na buwan para sa basbas ng Pangulo bago sila mag-file ng kaso sa korte? (Let's say the DOJ task force is able to come up with a recommendation in April. Does this mean we'll have to wait for six months before the President gives them leave to file a case in court?)," he stressed.

The Ilonggo senator also said the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas should stop dilly-dallying and immediately seek the attachment of De los Angeles' assets to guarantee the reimbursement of an estimated P30 billion in obligations of Legacy to its pre-need plan holders and depositors.

He noted that no less than De los Angeles has admitted in previous committee hearings that the pre-need firm Legacy Consolidated Plans Inc. only has P350 million in its trust fund.

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