SEC to investigate STI Group head

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday said it will investigate businessman Eusebio “Yosi” Tanco, chairman of publicly listed STI Group and director of the Philippine Stock Exchange, following a plunder rap filed against him.

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The plunder complaint was filed before the Office of the Ombudsman in September last year.

SEC chairperson Teresita Herbosa said the agency has replied to Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th, saying that it would investigate all issues within its jurisdiction as raised by Trillanes in his letter to the regulator.

The SEC’s investigation would look into laws allegedly violated by Tanco and his company, and whether there is basis for Trillanes’ call to look into Tanco’s moral fitness to be a director of the PSE and as head of a publicly listed company.

Trillanes recently wrote to the SEC, PSE, the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), asking these agencies to investigate respondents in what he dubbed as the “University of Makati-College of Nursing Scam.”

“I would like to respectively request the Honorable SEC and PSE to look into and/or investigate possible violations of the laws, rules, and regulations administered by your respective institutions, which may have been committed by the perpetrators in the course of the operation of their nefarious scheme,” Trillanes said in his letter.

Apart from Tanco, Trillanes named former Makati City Mayor and now Vice President Jejomar Binay, former Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr., and University of Makati President Tomas Lopez. Also named was STI President Monico Jacob, Annabelle Borromeo, and Dr. Jack Arroyo Jr., a nephew of the late Sen. Joker Arroyo.

The named public and private officials are facing charges of plunder, malversation of public funds, graft and corruption, and violation of the Government Procurement Reform Act filed by lawyer Renato Bondal before the Office of the Ombudsman in September 2015.

For the SEC, Trillanes said regulators should look into the moral fitness of individuals involved in the scheme.

“I would like to request the PSE and/or the SEC to look into the moral fitness and/or propriety of allowing the individuals invoked in this dubious scheme to continue serving as officers and/or directors of private and/or publicly listed companies considering that they are currently facing serious charges involve plunder, malversation of public funds, graft and corruption among others,” Trillanes said.

Bondal alleged that the individuals diverted public funds intended for the University of Makati in the aggregate amount of P547 million to Philippine Healthcare Educators Inc., a private company allegedly owned by the respondents.

Trillanes said he might call for a Senate inquiry if he is not satisfied with the investigation of the SEC and the PSE.

“If I am not satisfied with the action of the SEC and the PSE in this regard, I will not hesitate to call for a Senate inquiry so this matter can be closely examined and investigated fully for us to be able to enact remedial legislation to protect the interest of the investing public,” Trillanes said.

Trillanes was the main proponent of the investigation into the Makati City Hall Parking Building II and related scandals, which have hounded Binay and his family these past two years.

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