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CA allows anti-dummy case vs Piatco exec

MANILA, Philippines - A director of Philippine International Air Terminals Co. Inc. (Piatco), the builder of   Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) terminal 3, will be charged with violation of the Anti-Dummy Law on orders of the Court of Appeals (CA).

The CA’s special 11th division has denied the plea of Gil Camacho to stop the Department of Justice (DOJ) from charging him with violating Presidential Decree 715, which amended Commonwealth Act 108, the Anti-Dummy Law.

PD 715 provides that a person is liable under the Anti-Dummy Law if he or she allows or assists an unqualified person or corporation to enjoy a franchise.

Under PD 715 foreign investors are barred from acquiring more than 40 percent ownership in domestic corporations, particularly those involved in the operation and management of public utilities, such as airport terminal.

Based on documentary evidence, the DOJ held that Fraport had acquired more than 40 percent of Piatco’s ownership.

The National Bureau of Investigation has established Fraport’s more than 40 percent ownership of Piatco. 

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In ruling against Camacho’s plea, the CA found no basis for for a temporary restraining order and/or a writ of preliminary injunction against the DOJ.

“It is an established doctrine that injunction will not lie to enjoin a criminal prosecution because public interest requires that criminal acts be immediately investigated and prosecuted for the protection of society,” read the CA ruling.

“The grounds raised by the petitioners are intricately intertwined with the main issue in the petition; hence, courts are proscribed from extending such reliefs as this has the unwitting result of passing upon the merits of the main action without trial.”

Camacho told the CA the “baseless information” against him would not only work great injustice but would cause him “grave and irreparable injury.”

The case arose from the complaint of lawyer Jose Bernas that the threshold of 40 percent equity for foreign firms in utilities is exceeded when the indirect holdings of Fraport are factored.

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