The Philippine Stock Exchange Inc. (PSE) is asking all investors who may have been victimized by its former employee Jose Cecilio Peñaflor, who allegedly embezzled an aggregate amount of at least P100 million, to come forward as the PSE seeks to build a criminal case.
Roel Refran, chief operating officer of the PSE in a phone interview on Monday, said that they are still in the process of gathering sufficient information against Peñaflor in order to pursue a criminal complaint.
Peñaflor will be charged with multi-million or large scale estafa, which is a non-bailable offense.
Refran clarified that Peñaflor is neither a stockbroker nor a trader, and was a merely a former employee of the PSE. Peñaflor was terminated in July 2013 for alleged violation of the market regulator’s rules and procedure.
“We would like to clarify that Peñaflor is neither a stock broker nor a trader, it came out in the news that he was a broker. He is not. In order for a person to be considered as a broker, he shall be working for and is connected with any TP [trading participant], which in turn, is a corporation authorized by the Securities and Exchange Commission after such person possesses all the qualifications and passed the necessary exams required by the SEC,” Refran said.
As of this writing, there has yet no hold departure order against Peñaflor in the Bureau of Immigration.
“He was neither connected nor authorized by any trading participant, so he cannot be considered as such [broker].”
Further, Refran said that they are now closely coordinating with other concerned agencies such as the National Bureau of Immigration and the SEC to gather all relevant facts, and at the same time, asking all victims to come forward to make a stronger criminal case against Peñaflor.
“We are calling all those who may have been defrauded by Peñaflor to come forward. We need to work together in order to hold him criminally liable for all his acts,” Refran said.
Two weeks ago, Peñaflor was subjected to an entrapment operation by the NBI, following complaints filed by his alleged victims. Although he was successfully arrested, he was subsequently released last week by the fiscal for lack of probable cause, as there was insufficient evidence presented to support his detention during an inquest proceeding.
“But that does not mean that he did not do anything wrong or criminal. It was just unfortunate that at the time of his inquest, there was no sufficient evidence to justify his continued detention. That is what we are trying to do now, build all the necessary evidence against him to facilitate his arrest and conviction,” the PSE executive said.
Katrina Mennen A. Valdez