National News: SC to PLDT: Prove Economic Woes on their "Gamboa Decision" (Part 2)
Thirty days before the demise of former Assemblyman Wilson Gamboa, Sr., he explained to Negros Daily Bulletin (NDB) that his petition before the Supreme Court (SC) which he started filing February 2007 against the truncated equity structure of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone, Inc. (PLDT), "is not anti-foreign investments but strictly pro-Constitution".
The Gamboa petition now called the "Gamboa Decision" was favorably decided by the SC dated June 28, 2011 but under appeal; of which an en banc public hearing was called last April 17, 2012 in Baguio City for a counter petition and oral arguments to reverse said decision.
From the death bed notes of Gamboa, Sr. provided by his son and namesake Wilson Gamboa, Jr., SC found that PLDT "is at least 81.47 percent collectively foreign owned now, the 51.56 percent is owned by First Pacific (Indonesia) and Japanese NTT DoCoMo."
Meantime, as the complaint last year was in progress and heard by the High Tribunal, NDB then reported that PLDT chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan (MVP) himself admitted this foreign ownership of more than 40 percent, a violation of the Constitutional limit.
He faced national media, however, fomenting "prophecies of doom" by warning that the SC decision to uphold Gamboa’s claim is inimical to foreign investments with similar equity structure and therefore subvert the country’s efforts in inviting the latter to locate in the Philippines.
Gamboa, Sr. who was in his Bacolod residence then and suffering a liver ailment, retorted, "Stop raising a doomsday scenario arising from the Supreme Court’s decision defining ownership of public utilities and assume responsibility to reckless and imprudent management of the financial resources of your Indonesian principals."
He did not survive the ailment to attend the first oral argument in Baguio City but his son Lauro Gamboa took over his place as complainant with Pablito Sanidad and Arno Sanidad as counsels.
The Gamboa complaint heading read in full was, "Wilson P. Gamboa, Sr. versus (then) Finance Secretary Margarito Teves, Finance Undersecretary John Sevilla and Commissioner Ricardo Abcede of the Presidential Commission of Good Government (PCGG) in their capacities as Chair and members respectively of the Privatization Council."
The case heading continued, for the record, to accuse private citizens, "Chairman Anthoni Salim of the First Pacific Co., Ltd., in his capacity as Director of Metro Pacific Asset Holdings, Inc.; Chairman Manuel Pangilingan of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) in his capacity as Managing Director of First Pacific Co., Ltd.; President Napoleon Nazareno of the PLDT.
Finally, Chair Fe Barin of the Securities and Exchange Commission and President Francis Lim of the Philippine Stock Exchange were also accused by the late Gamboa, Sr.