Kudos to PCGG commissioner for a job well done | Inquirer Opinion

Kudos to PCGG commissioner for a job well done

12:15 AM October 10, 2015

This refers to the news article titled “Gov’t owns 22% of SMC shares” (Second Front Page, 9/16/15).

We would like to congratulate Commissioner Vicente L. Gengos Jr. of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), who relentlessly pursued the case in defending the interest of the government and the coconut farmers by protecting CIIF-SMC block shares, for a job well done!

United Coconut Planters Bank has no right to claim ownership of 11.03 percent of the 22 percent CIIF-SMC block of shares now worth P71 billion or of Cocolife’s claim of half of that block of shares. This attempt is like robbing coconut farmers of their rightful claim to the fund. The irony of that is UCPB is the coconut levy fund administrator. If the Supreme Court had not prevented it, parang bantay salakay ang nangyari. Indeed, according to the Supreme Court the claim is hollow. These shares, according to the ruling of the high court, are owned by the government in trust for the coconut farmers and were acquired through coconut levies imposed on the coconut farmers during martial law.


But what bothers us most was how the claim reached the Makati Regional Trial Court, despite the presence of the so-called farmer-representatives in the UCPB board and the presence of PCGG commissioners in the UCPB Advisory Council and Cocolife board. They could have prevented such a flagrant act. The job of the PCGG is to preserve and protect, not squander sequestered assets. And why did the coconut farmer-representatives in the UCPB board allow this claim to prosper, which in the first place is contrary to the interest of the beneficial owners, the coconut farmers?


If these guardians of government assets cannot protect the interest of the public and have interests other than the government’s, they should be honest enough to resign and publicly apologize to the farmers.

We just hope that the PCGG remains true to its mandate as a guardian of public, not corporate, interest.

—OMI C. ROYANDOYAN, Centro Saka, Alyansa Agrikultura

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TAGS: Presidential Commission on Good Government, United Coconut Planters Bank

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