Business

SEC considers filing criminal insider trading charges vs Ongpin

As if businessman Roberto V. Ongpin?s woes were not enough, the Securities and Exchange Commission is mulling

As if businessman Roberto V. Ongpin?s woes were not enough, the Securities and Exchange Commission is mulling the possibility of filing criminal charges against him in relation to an insider trading case involving Philex Mining Corp. shares.

This after the Court of Appeals issued an order stopping the SEC from enforcing harsh penalties against Ongpin, a Marcos crony. These include a P174 million fine and his disqualification from the board of any listed corporation.

?Ongpin?s appeal refers to the administrative aspect of the insider trading case and is separate and distinct form the criminal action which the SEC may file before the Department of Justice.

The accused in such action shall upon conviction suffer a fine of not less than P50,000 nor more than P5 million or imprisonment of not less than seven years nor more than 21 years or both at the discretion of the court,? the SEC said.

The SEC will be represented by the Office of the Solicitor General in its case against Ongpin.

Based on the SEC?s investigation, Ongpin was found to have committed 174 counts of insider trading for his purchase of Philex shares ahead.of a deal with First Pacific Co. Ltd. of Hong Kong in 2009.

Ongpin?s camp said this was the ?same case which was originally filed at the Sandiganbayan by the Ombudsman as a behest loan case.

He noted that the case ?had unquestionably prescribed as it was filed almost a year after the two- year deadline required in the Securities Regulations Code.?

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