Court of Appeals Restrains SEC on Ongpin Case

Manila—(PHStocks)—The Court of Appeals, acting on the petition of Roberto V. Ongpin, chairman and CEO of Atok-Big Wedge Co. Inc. (PSE: AB), has issued a restraining order to the SEC from enforcing its en banc decision on the 2009 Philex insider trading case.

In its ruling, the Court of Appeals said:

“The petition raised substantial issues on what acts are punishable as insider trading as well as the question on prescription of the administrative charge.

Gauging from the complexity of the matters at hand and seeing that the circumstances in this case present an urgent and paramount necessity to prevent serious damage upon petitioner Ongpin since the assailed Decision of the SEC en banc may, at any time, be implemented pursuant to Section 12 of Rule 43 of the Rules of Court, we resolve to grant the prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order.

In so ruling, we considered not the amount of fine imposed upon Ongpin but the penalty of disqualification and the order for him to relinquish or resign from the positions of director or officer, the extent of which affects not only the company PHILEX, but all other public and publicly listed corporations.

The damage to be suffered, if any, is not quantifiable in terms of monetary value and cannot be remedied under any standard compensation.”

In its restraining order, the Court of Appeals set the hearing for August 23 and 24, 2016. The law firm of Atty. Estelito P. Mendoza has entered its appearance as collaborating counsel on behalf of Ongpin.

A copy of the Court of Appeals order can be found here.

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