• Ongpin gets TRO vs SEC on insider trading case

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    Roberto “Bobby” Ongpin has secured a restraining order from the Court of Appeals, preventing the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from executing a ruling that found the Controversial businessman guilty of insider trading.

    In an August 1 resolution, the 13th Division of the Court of Appeals granted the application of Ongpin for a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the decision of the SEC en banc.

    The TRO is specifically directed at the SEC’s Enforcement and Investors Protection Department (EIPD).

    The conviction of insider trading or violation of Section 27 of the Securities Regulation Code carries penalties and fines and a disqualification from holding office as a board member of any public and publicly listed corporation.

    The SEC en banc, resolved to bar Ongpin from being an officer or director of any listed firm and was originally ordered to pay a fine of P174 million.

    Ongpin was likewise ordered to resign from any and all positions he is presently holding as officer, member of the board of directors, or person performing similar functions of any issuer or listed corporation.

    Ongpin is the chairman of listed PhiliWeb Corp. and Atok Big Wedge Inc.

    “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 publicly listed corporations,” the CA’s ruing read.

    The SEC has found Ongpin guilty of insider trading covering 174 transactions when he bought Philex shares in 2009—he was then a minority shareholder of the mining firm—while in possession of nonpublic material information that Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. would purchase a sizeable number of Philex shares.

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