MANILA� The Court of Appeals (CA) upheld the decision of the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court's (RTC) guilty verdict on the two businessmen for violating the securities and regulation code.
In decision dated April 4 penned by Associate Justice Franchito Diamante and concurred in by Associate Justices Japar Dimaampao and Zenaida Galapate-Laguilles, the CA's Seventh Division affirmed with modification the judgment of the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 256, finding Palmy B. Tibayan and Rico Z. Puerto guilty for violation of Section 73 in relation to Section 8.1 of Republic Act 8799, otherwise know as the Securities Regulation Code of the Philippines.
Instead of 10 years, the CA modified the penalty to an indeterminate sentence of seven to 12 years, as maximum and denied the appealed filed by Tibayan and Puerto.
Palmy, Jesus Tibayan, Ezekiel Martinez and Tiborcio Elacio, both of Tibayan Group Investment Company (TGIC), were charged before the RTC.
They were accused of conniving each other by issuing a regulated security called 'TGIC Mutual Fund' to spouses Arnel Guia and Rebecca Guia worth Php120,000.
According to the complaint, it was made without valid registration statement duly filed with and approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) pertaining to the said security.
Alrey MaAago allegedly enticed the spouses Guia to invest in TGIC itself on the promise that an extra 5 percent interest would apply to their next investment.
But the post dated checks issued by the company were dishonored until the case reached the court.
The lower court convicted the accused-appellants for the crime charged holding that it was established with clarity, through the respective simple and straightforward testimonies of the witnesses.
It was also found out that the TGIC and Matcor were not registered issuers of securities and investment certificates.
The CA held that it is beyond dispute that TGI and Matcor were operating illegally.
The accused-appellant Tibayan cannot elude liability upon the pretext that she was strange to the questioned illicit issuance, by way of sale, to the Guia spouses a regulated security refereed to a 'TGIC Mutual Fund', the CA said.
Source: Philippines News Agency