Government mulls sale of sequestered PTIC shares

- Sandy  Araneta () - November 14, 2006 - 12:00am
The government plans to sell the 111,415 sequestered shares in Philippine Telecommunications Investment Corp. (PTIC), the same company that owns around 14 percent of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT).

Presidential Commission on Good Government  (PCGG) commissioner for assets and management Ricardo Abcede said they are intent on "disposing" the said assets.

Abcede said the proceeds of the sale would go to land reform and deposited with the National Treasury.

"Ultimately, that [disposing of assets] is our goal, to translate our legal victories into something economically satisfactory for the people," Abcede told reporters in a telephone interview.

The block of PTIC shares constitutes about 6.4 percent of PLDT and is worth about P29 billion, Abcede said.

Abcede said the Department of Finance (DOF) has set a Dec. 4 deadline for those interested in buying the shares to submit their bids.

The stock up for sale represents about 46 percent of PTIC’s outstanding shares. At the end of September, PTIC owned 26.03 million common shares in PLDT.

First Pacific and its managing director Manuel Pangilinan control 54 percent of PTIC while Prime Holdings Inc. (PHI), controlled by the families of the late business magnate Ramon Cojuangco, accounts for the rest.

The Supreme Court earlier this year declared as ill-gotten a large block of shares of PLDT that was the subject of a four-way dispute between the government and Cojuangco, Chinese-Filipino tycoon Alfonso Yuchengco and the late President Marcos.

PTIC was the biggest stockholder of PLDT, owning 28 percent of the company, at the time the case was filed.

The Cojuangco family owns the controlling stake in PHI, making it the single biggest stockholder of PLDT at the time.

The PCGG claimed the PTIC shares formed part of the estate of Marcos.

PCGG said the contested shares were ill-gotten and that the Cojuangcos and PHI had acquired the PLDT shares as Marcos dummies.

The court reversed the May 6, 2002 ruling of the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court dismissing the suit of the PCGG against the Marcos family, Cojuangco and his wife Imelda and Prime Holdings over the PLDT shares.

The case is a consolidation of five separate petitions between the government, and the Cojuangco and Yuchengco clans arising from a Sandiganbayan civil case initiated by the PCGG against Imelda Marcos, her three children and other individuals.

The estate of Cojuangco and his widow Imelda claims to be the rightful owners of 44 percent of PTIC.

ABCEDE ALFONSO YUCHENGCO COJUANGCO COJUANGCO AND YUCHENGCO DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE FIRST PACIFIC GOOD GOVERNMENT IMELDA AND PRIME HOLDINGS PLDT PTIC SHARES
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