Otsuka local exec rapped for perjury

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A Makati City court has indicted an executive of Otsuka (Phils.) Pharmaceutical Inc., the local unit of Japanese conglomerate Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., for perjury after allegedly making a “false” affidavit against Maryland Distributors Inc. (MDI).

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Filipino-owned MDI is the former exclusive distributor in the Philippines of Pocari Sweat, a health drink imported and supplied by Otsuka Philippines.

The case stemmed after Jose Jacinto Aquino, associate finance director of Otsuka Philippines, made a statement before the Makati City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 57 claiming that “MDI stopped paying for the goods delivered by Otsuka [Philippines] and that it refused to cooperate and communicate with Otsuka [Philippines] for the settlement of MDI’s outstanding balance.”

Aquino’s claim created an impression before the trial court that “Maryland deceitfully avoided its obligation with Otsuka,” said Assistant City Prosecutor Edna Conde in issuing a writ of preliminary attachment against the assets of MDI.

Conde recommended Aquino be indicted for the crime of perjury with a bail of P6,000.

The recommendation was supported by Deputy City Prosecutor Edgardo Hirang and approved by City Prosecutor Jorge Catalan Jr.

Otsuka Philippines had an exclusive distribution agreement with MDI for the distribution of Pocari Sweat for two years or from January 16, 2012 to January 15, 2015, subject to renewal.

After the lapse of the agreement, the deal was not renewed, with Otsuka Philippines appointing another distributor.

Claiming MDI had outstanding payables, Otsuka Philippines filed a case before the Makati RTC to collect from the local distributor.

Aquino executed a judicial affidavit saying MDI stopped paying for products after the agreement had expired, that MDI ignored all requests of Otsuka Philippines, and that MDI refused to cooperate or even communicate with Otsuka Philippines.

In response, MDI denied all the accusations with the presentation of official receipts and the exchange of e-mails on record as evidence.

The assistant city prosecutor believed Aquino knew MDI did not stop paying for the goods delivered even after the expiration of the agreement, that MDI did not ignore its requests for submission of trade receivables, and that MDI did not refuse to cooperate and communicate with Otsuka Philippines.

Conde said to exculpate himself from criminal liability for perjury, Aquino found the need to qualify and later rectified his subject statements in his counter affidavit.

“We find that probable cause exists to warrant the indictment of respondent for the offense complained of. Records bear out that the subject statements of respondents in his affidavits were evidently falsehood and made deliberately to obtain a writ of preliminary attachment from the trial court,” Conde said.

“Thus, demands for Maryland to settle its outstanding obligation did not fall on deaf ears and there was no unreasonable refusal on its part to settle its obligations,” the assistant city prosecutor added.

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