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Cited EIPD order already invalidated

12:04 AM November 02, 2016

The board directors and officers of the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) named in the Aug. 23, 2016, amended EIPD (Enforcement and Investor Protection Department) order strongly condemn the reckless and malicious Biz Buzz item titled “DBP, FMIC top brass, officers fined for ‘wash sales’” (Business, 10/26/16).

First of all, the order has already been timely elevated to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) en banc where the case is presently pending. On this note, it should be emphasized that the amended order was issued by a department head of the SEC, not by the SEC en banc which has yet to rule on its merits. Because Inquirer reporter Daxim Lucas made it appear in the article that the so-called “SEC report” is already final and executory, he has clearly misled the public.

Secondly, the article left out the fact that the order, insofar as DBP and its officers are concerned, is a virtual reproduction of an order, dated May 10, 2016, that was previously issued by the same EIPD head but had already been invalidated by the SEC’s Office of the General Counsel (OGC) on appeal. In invalidating that order, the OGC emphasized its grave deficiencies and stressed the EIPD head’s failure to show any factual or legal basis for his ruling.

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Thirdly, in view of the pending appeal before the SEC en banc, the issue is, in legal contemplation, sub judice. Thus, any opinionated piece on the matter, such as the Biz Buzz article, could only be viewed as suspect, as it may influence the outcome of the case.

In coming up with such unfair statements against the concerned DBP officers without

giving the parties involved a chance to air their side, Lucas breached the limits of freedom of the press and expression and abused his prerogatives as a journalist. We note that this is not the first time Lucas has authored reckless, and apparently malicious, articles demonizing DBP officers. In at least three other articles previously published in the Inquirer, Lucas showed the same reckless and unprofessional approach to cast aspersions against DBP officers.

Such reckless and malicious reporting runs contrary to the Philippine Journalist’s Code of Ethics, which clearly provides that journalists are entitled to report and publish only essential facts and logical conclusions after taking into consideration all sides of the story.

Contrary to how Lucas wants it to appear, the transactions subject of the pending case were validly executed by DBP’s Treasury Group and were entered into in good faith for the sole purpose of preserving DBP’s capital. The transactions did not cause unwarranted losses to DBP; in fact, they benefited DBP with trading gains that, at the end of 2014, amounted to more than P421 million. This, in fact, contributed to DBP’s net income of P4.6 billion in 2014.

NESTOR M. LEYNES III, MARIANNE P. LOZADA-MARQUEZ, RICHARD LEONARD A. CRUZ, KARL STEPHEN C. LANDOY, VANN ALLEN P. DELA CRUZ, Leynes Lozada-Marquez Law Offices

The item carries no factual errors. I stand by it. —DAXIM L. LUCAS, reporter, Business

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TAGS: Biz Buzz, Development Bank of the Philippines, Securities and Exchange Commission
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