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Villar sh!ts on PSE for more money?

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Great. How timely.

Just when I’m all set to buy some stocks from listed companies in the Philippine Stock Exchange, then sh!t like this happens…

Estrada, Enrile accuse Villar of pressuring PSE on stock sale

Sen. Manuel Villar, Nacionalista Party standard-bearer, earmarked for his presidential campaign P5 billion which he raised from an allegedly irregular transaction three years ago involving his real estate firm’s shares, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said Thursday.

The P5 billion came from the P26 billion that the family-controlled Vista Land & Lifescapes Inc. (the corporate successor of real estate developer C&P Homes Inc.) raised in the stock market, said Enrile, senatorial candidate of the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP).

Enrile accused Villar of influencing the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) board in June 2007 into approving his request to release almost 30 percent of his shares in Vista Land from the lock-up period in violation of stock exchange rules.

“If he can do this when he is still not the President, how much more if he is already the President of this country?” Enrile said at a news conference at the campaign headquarters of former President Joseph Estrada’s PMP in Mandaluyong City.

“Is this the type of person that the country should install as the next President of the Philippines?” he added.

Prohibition

The lock-up requirement is a prohibition on all listings and public offerings of shares of stock of private corporations.

It prohibits major shareholders like the Villars from selling their shares within a certain period to protect small shareholders from the devaluation of the shares, according to Enrile.

“In simple terms, those who want to generate funding for their companies by selling their shares to the public are prohibited from selling or dumping their own shares within a certain period because such will affect the price or value of the listed shares, thus unjustly enriching the majority shareholders at the expense of and to the detriment of the public,” Enrile said.

Villar at PSE meeting

Enrile presented minutes of a supposedly confidential PSE meeting in 2007 and a letter of PSE chair Hans Sicat as proof of his allegations against Villar. (Sicat joined the PSE board and became its chair only last year.)

The minutes showed that Villar was present at the PSE board meeting on June 29, 2007, when the board approved the release of 29.28 percent of his shares. Enrile said it was Villar himself who requested an audience with the PSE directors.

“From the record of all these proceedings, there is no doubt in my mind that Sen. Manuel Villar himself lobbied and exerted pressure to railroad the approval of his family-owned company’s request for exemption to enable him and his family to sell their shares which were otherwise subject to lockup at a hefty premium!” Enrile said.

How does his election campaign song go again?

♫ Hindí bawal mañgarap
Ang mahirap
Bastá’t maáabot itó
Sa malinis na paraán… ♪

Click here for more of the Villar-PSE debacle.

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