Saturday, July 25, 2009

Schemes to Keep Celso Away from the Courts

Have you read the news report about a DOJ hearing that was moved to August 4 because of the belated swearing-in of a PDIC lawyer? The case was filed by PDIC against Celso in behalf of 10 investors who lost P56 million to Celso's scheme. Although it is not clear to us how and why PDIC is involved in a case which does not concern legitimate bank deposits, it seems that PDIC is doing the right thing since we presume that PDIC will pay the huge court docket fees which have been a deterrent to victims who would like to seek justice against Celso. With this move, PDIC is signalling that it is serious in prosecuting Celso and his cohorts.

Cagayan de Oro (CDO) preneed victims, who have some money left, have filed two cases (with one more on the way as of this writing) of syndicated estafa against Celso, and was the reason why Celso was served two warrants of arrest while in the hospital. Last month, we heard that Cebu victims had planned to file a similar case but could not come up with the costly filing fees. If you remember, there was talk that Senator Mar Roxas would ask the DOJ and the courts to waive filing fees for Legacy victims, but obviously, this did not prosper. Then the DOJ inexplicably came out with a ruling that all Legacy cases, except for CDO, should all be consolidated for filing in Makati courts, even though most victims were located in the Visayas and Mindanao. This deterred a lot of victims who would have to undergo the time-consuming, expensive and long-distance court cases that would be heard in the Makati courts. Thank God that the CDO cases were filed before the DOJ ruling came out; otherwise, up to this date, not a single warrant of arrest would have been served to Celso.

But what happened to all those ballyhooed cases that BSP and PDIC filed much earlier? Nothing, so far. It is ironic that cases filed by private individuals shelling out the last of their private funds, resulted in immediate action by the courts, while cases filed in Makati courts by government agencies (the sames ones who as regulators allowed and tolerated Celso's fraudulent schemes) have not even gone beyond a first hearing at the DOJ. Do you know that the Aug. 4 would be closed-door, with the media kept out of the proceedings? Seems to prove the theory that there are powerful individuals behind Celso: who would do anything to keep Celso's mouth shut until death (if he really has cancer) causes him to bring those names with him to the grave. There a lot of people who would like to see Celso buried together with those nameless ones, who have for too long plundered the government coffers, and now the savings of the poor.

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