The House of Representatives’ good government and public accountability committee is eyeing an investigation into the alleged profiteering by senior executives in a stock trading scandal at the Social Security System (SSS).
“If the resolution filed by Congressman Carlos Zarate is referred to the committee, then we are duty-bound to look into the mess,” said Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel, the committee chairman.
“We’ve always made it a point to act on every resolution and every privilege speech assigned to the committee,” Pimentel said in a statement on Sunday.
In House Resolution 1434, Zarate, a Bayan Muna party-list representative, specifically asked Pimentel’s panel to inquire into allegations that executives took advantage of their positions, personally traded in stocks, and made money for themselves while they were managing the state-run pension fund’s equity investments.
The executives supposedly benefited from personal trades based on “material nonpublic information” on Philippine Stock Exchange-listed companies which they obtained from the pension fund’s accredited stockbrokers.
They also purportedly received lucrative initial public offering (IPO) share allocations from the stockbrokers under their direct supervision.
Now under administrative investigation for “serious dishonesty and grave misconduct” are SSS executive vice president Rizaldy Capulong; senior vice president and chief actuary George Ongkeko Jr.; vice president and equities investment division officer in charge Reginald Candelaria; and equities product development head Ernesto Francisco Jr.
Ongkeko and Francisco have since resigned, while Capulong and Candelaria have been suspended from their posts and temporarily reassigned to the office of the SSS president pending resolution of the administrative
complaint against them.
Pimentel earlier said he was counting on the Social Security Commission, the governing board of the SSS, to obligate the erring executives “to empty out their pockets of their crooked earnings.”
“Those profits rightfully belong to and should go to the SSS,” he said.
It is a grave ethical offense for pension fund trustees to misuse their positions for personal gain, the lawmaker said.