Hearing urged on SMC complaint

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The Court of Appeals (CA) on Thursday brushed aside the appeal of an Indonesian businessman sued by San Miguel Holdings Corp. (SMHC) for qualified theft and ordered the Marikina Regional Trial Court to hear the case.

This relates to the SMHC complaint against its Indonesian businessman partner at Citra Metro Manila Tollways Corp. allegedly for the illegal disbursement of P50 million, executed as a loan from CMMTC to Shadik Wahono’s PT Citra Lamtoro Gung Persada (CLGP) to incorporate Citra Central Expressway Corp. (CCEC), the joint venture company they both own.

Wahono claimed beneficial ownership of CCEC shares, a claim SMHC rejected on the argument the shares were paid for by CMMTC funds that San Miguel was also the beneficial owner.
“This Court, after a careful perusal of the entire records of the case, finds no compelling reason to disturb its (lower court’s) earlier ruling,” the CA said.

On Wahono’s claim that SMHC and CMMTC supposedly lack the legal personality to institute the petition, the CA said this has already been addressed in earlier resolutions.

“It is not disputed that SMHC is a stockholder of petitioner CMMTC. It has been alleged that private respondents, in their capacity as members of the Board of Directors of CMMTC, committed wrongful acts to the detriment of the corporation. Accordingly, SMHC has the right to institute a derivative suit on behalf of CMMTC,” the CA reiterated.

The appellate court said the dismissal of the complaint by Regional Trial Court of Marikina City Branch 193 presiding judge Alice Gutierrez against Wahono and Stamboel, who are still-at-large and the acquittal of Sayson and Bugtas, did not necessarily amount to the extinction of their civil liability and did not necessarily deprive the petitioners of their right to prosecute the same.

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