Press Release
April 20, 2009


Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas today said as much as P11.5 billion in bank deposits in the Legacy rural banks can no longer be found and deemed to have been lost due to inept government agencies that failed to act in time to stop businessman Celso de los Angeles' pyramiding scam.

"Lumalabo at lumalabo ang percentage na maibabalik ang pera ng mga biktima, kung meron man, maliit na porsiyento lang ito," the chairman of the Senate trade and commerce committee said after the resumption of the Senate inquiry into the Legacy fund mess.

The PDIC has said that of the P14 billion claims made against the 13 banking institutions owned by De los Angeles, only P2.5 billion could realistically be repaid while on the case of the various Legacy pre-need firms, only P216 million out of the P1.3 billion claims could be reimbursed, or a total of P12.6 billion in losses.

"'Yan ang halaga ng kapabayaan ng mga government agencies, ang halaga ng katangahanan, or katamaran or sabwatan ng lahat na pumayag na mangyari ang lahat ng ito," he said, adding: "Sobrang bagal ng proseso para makahanap tayo ng katarungan para sa mga biktima ng Legacy."

He noted that more than 100 days after the first Legacy complaint was filed with the Department of Justice, the task force created to specifically handle all Legacy-related issues have yet to file a single case in court.

"Sa DOJ may mga nakabinbin na kaso diyan. More than 100 days na, wala pa ring information laban kay Celso de los Angeles. The DOJ is on notice na kami dito sa Senado, hindi namin papayagan na makalimutan ito, hindi namin papayagan na itong isyu na ito mawala ng walang hustisya para sa mga biktima," he said.

Roxas also lamented the continuing inability and inefficiency of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to address the loopholes in its regulation system.

"Sa SEC, hindi lang nakakadismaya, hindi lang nakakagalit, nakakangitngit na," he said, noting the Commission still has to hire an independent actuary to examine the trust fund of the Legacy pre-need companies, to the detriment of planholders who are expecting to recover their investments to the failed firms.

"Sa palagay ko it's a flaw in implementation. Malinaw na si Celso nakatanggap ng special treatment," he said.

Roxas warned De los Angeles the joint Senate trade and commerce and banks committees would order his arrest if he fails anew to attend the next Senate hearing into the Legacy mess and to submit his Statement of Assets and Liabilities and written waiver on the secrecy of his bank accounts.

"'Pag sa susunod na hearing ay 'di pa isinusumite ni Mr. de los Angeles ang kanyang SAL at ang waiver na ipinangako niya, ipapa-aresto ko na siya," he said.

Roxas had earlier moved to cite De los Angeles in contempt for his non-submission of his SAL and the written bank secrecy waiver, which he had committed to submit under oath in previous committee hearings.

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