THE Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Makati City has granted the motion filed by the City Prosecutor’s Office seeking the withdrawal of the criminal cases filed against trader George Sycip, son of the late tycoon Washington Sycip, and four other officials of a tuna-processing company accused of violating the provisions of the Corporation Code of the Philippines.
In an order issued by Makati RTC Branch 148 Presiding Judge Andres Bartolome Soriano, the trial court agreed with Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Emilie Fe de los Santos, that the cases should be withdrawn due to the court’s lack of jurisdiction.
“The Prosecution, through the undersigned Senior Deputy Proscutor, and unto this Honorable Court, most respectfully moves that the above-entitled cases be withdrawn from your office pursuant to Review Resolution dated March 20, 2018, on the ground of lack of jurisdiction of this Court over the imposable penalty pursuant to Supreme Court
Administrative Circular 9-94,” the prosecution’s motion read.
“Wherefore, it is respectfully prayed of this Honorable Court, that the motion to withdraw information together with attachments be granted and given due course in the interest of justice,” it added.
Aside from Sycip, other respondents in the cases are Jonathan Y. Dee, Maria Grace T. Vera-Cruz, Antonio C. Pacis and Raymond KH See, all officials of Alliance Select Foods International Inc.
They were specifically accused of violating Section 74 and 75 in relation to Section 144, of the Corporation Code. Section 74 of the Corporation Code provides that “the records of all business transactions of the corporation and the minutes of any meetings shall be open to inspection by any director, trustee, stockholder or member of the corporation…” and that refusal to allow the records to be examined will be liable for damages and is punishable under Section 144 of the code.
Section 144 states that violators of the code shall be punished by a fine of not less than P1,000 but not more than 10,000 or imprisonment of not less than 30 days but not more than five years. Section 75, meanwhile, underscores the right of any stockholder or member of his right to financial statements. The cases stemmed from the complaint filed by Singaporean Hedy SC Yap-Chua, then a stockholder and/or director of ASFI, accusing them of arbitrarily withholding its corporate records, including the stock and
transfer records, from her and other stockholders.
Yap-Chua sought the opening of the books of ASFI due to alleged questionable acquisition of Strong Oak Inc. of Alliance’s 430 million shares worth P563.675 million.
The sale has resulted in the dilution of the Singaporeans’ shares from 34 percent to 24 percent.
Yap-Chua has insisted on opening the books of Alliance, but the majority continues to refuse.
“For the reasons stated therein, herein cases are deemed withdrawm,” Judge Sorian said in granting the prosecution’s motion.