Press Release
April 23, 2010


Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile accused Senator and presidential aspirant Manuel Villar of using his position as Senate President in 2007 to personally gain billions of pesos in connection with the public listing of shares of Villar-owned Vista Land and Landscapes Corp.

In a press conference of the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino held today at the PMP headquarters in Mandaluyong City, Enrile bared documents consisting of the minutes of a special meeting of the PSE Board held on June 29, 2007 where then Senate President Villar where the latter reportedly personally lobbied and pressured the Board for the exemption of his company from the "lock-up" rule of the Exchange.

Enrile explained that the "lock up" rule is a standard prohibition against the sale or "dumping" of shares by majority stockholders of a listing company within a specified period. He noted that the rule is aimed at protecting the investment of innocent buyers who stand to lose money from the decline in value of their shares if such prohibition was not followed.

The Senate President asserted that there could be no other reason for Villar's appearance at a special meeting which the minutes show Villar himself requested, but to pressure the Board into approving Vista Land's request to release almost 30% of his locked up shares, thus allowing him and his family or dummies to personally earn billions of pesos while taking the public's money to raise capital for Vista Land, to the detriment of the investing public. Enrile's request for copies of the minutes and other documents was denied by the PSE but the Senate President somehow got hold of a copy. The minutes showed that indeed, Senator Villar sought the audience with the Board and that the request of Vista Land was granted during the same meeting after the Board, in the presence of Villar held a private caucus.

Enrile called on the PSE Board to come out with the truth to belie widespread rumors that Villar had threatened them with a Senate investigation on stockbrokers' legal violations on the limitations of their own shareholdings in the PSE which amounted to a veiled threat or outright blackmail.

The pronouncements and revelations of Enrile came after Senator Villar, in an interview with newscaster Karen Davila last week, stated that his campaign money is sourced from his and his wife's personal earnings from the public listing of Vista Land, which Villar himself quoted at a gross amount of P10 Billion, or 8 Billion net of taxes. Villar further claimed that Vista Land earned P13.2 Billion from the proceeds of the public offering.

Senate President Enrile questioned the legality and morality of Villar's personal gain from the public listing of his own company's public listing and called attention to the latter's failure to reflect the profits he claimed in his sworn Statements of Assets and Liabilities for 2007 and 2008.

Enrile further accused the billionaire presidential candidate of ethical misconduct considering that "he (Villar) improperly intervened using his position as Senate President to influence or intimidate the PSE Board for his private business and his personal gain."

Vista Land and Landscapes (VLL), was listed in the stock exchange on June 27, 2007 at an offer price P6.85 per share, and today was quoted at P1.88 per share.

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