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The Never-ending Case of Philippine Coco-Levy Funds
« on: April 20, 2012, 08:27:56 PM »
By Perfecto T. Raymundo Jr.

The Supreme Court (SC) has declared unconstitutional two presidential acts for the creation of trust funds for farmers in connection with the controversial coco-levy funds.

In a 23-page decision written by Associate Justice Roberto Abad, the SC ruled as illegal Executive Order 312, which sought to establish a P1-billion fund from the assets acquired using coco-levy funds and Executive Order 313, or the creation of an irrevocable trust fund known as the Coconut Trust Fund, which also directed government lawyers to exclude the 27 percent shares of the Coconut Industry Investment Fund (CIIF) in San Miguel Corp. (SMC) from the coco-levy case of former Ambassador Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco, Jr.

With a unanimous vote of 11 justices, the SC granted the petition of farmer groups, led by Pambansang Koalisyon ng mga Samahang Magsasaka at Manggagawa sa Niyugan in declaring EOs 312 and 313 as void.

Associate Justice Antonio Carpio took no part since he is also one of the petitioners in the case.

Also inhibiting from the case were Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo-De Castro and Diosdado Peralta since they have decided an interrelated case.

EOs 312 and 313 were creations of then President Joseph "Erap" Ejercito Estrada.

"But, given that the provisions of EO 312 and 313, which was already stated invalidly transferred powers over the funds to two committees that President Estrada created, the rest of their provisions became non-operational. It is evident that President Estrada would not have created the new funding programs if they were to be managed by some other entity. Indeed, he made himself the Chairman of the Coconut Trust Fund and left to his discretion the appointment of the members and the other committee," the SC ruling said.

The SC said that EO 312 of Estrada transfers the power to allocate, to use, and disburse coco-levy funds that Presidential Decree 232 of then President Ferdinand Marcos vested in the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA).

It was pointed out that "an executive order cannot repeal a presidential decree which has the same standing as a statute enacted by Congress."

As to EO 313, the SC ruled that it is in contravention with Section 84(2) of PD 1445 or Ordaining and Instituting A Government Auditing Code of the Philippines and the 1987 Constitution.

"A final point, the EOs also transgresses PD 1445, Section 84(2), the first part by the previously mentioned sections of EO 313 and the second part by Section 4 of EO 312 and sections 6 and 7 of EO 313. EO 313 vests the power to administer, manage and supervise the operations and disbursements of the Trust Fund it established in a Coconut Trust Fund Committee," the SC decision said.

"Lastly, the coco-levy funds as evidently special funds....The fees were levied for a special purpose and, therefore, constituted special fund when collected. Its character as such fund was made clear by the fact that they were deposited in the PNB and not in the Philippine Treasury," it said.

With this, the SC said that coco-levy funds were taxes and laws like EO 312 and 313, which removef such funds and assets acquired through them from the jurisdiction of the COA violate Article IX-D, Section 2(1) of the 1987 Constitution. The said constitutional provision vests to COA the power and authority to examine uses of government money and property.

"And there is no legitimate reason why such funds should be shielded from COA review and audit. The PCA, which implements the coco-levy laws and collects the coco-levy funds, is a government-owned and controlled corporation subject to COA review and audit," the SC added.

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Re: The Never-ending Case of Philippine Coco-Levy Funds
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2012, 09:07:37 PM »
what next?
Republic Act 8485 (Animal Welfare Act of 1998, Philippines), as amended and strengthened by House  Bill 6893 of 2013--- violation means a maximum of P250,000 fine with a corresponding three-year jail term and a minimum of P30,000 fine and six months imprisonment


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Re: The Never-ending Case of Philippine Coco-Levy Funds
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2012, 08:07:06 AM »
I agree with the SC decision that EO's 312 and 313 of Erap is unconstitutional but I cannot agree more of Cory's decision in dismantling the coconut levy management and Cocofed... because the management of the levies was legitimized by decrees signed by Marcos.  Levies contributed by coconut farmers to the Cocofed is just like union members contribution to their union. Binisay-on naho ni pagsulti aron klaro-klaro.

Karon nga nabungkag na ang Cocofed ug ang kuarta nga giingon nga kuarta sa mga coco farmers nga invested diha sa San Miguel nabawi naman sa gobierno... saa na man ning kantidad nga kuarta karon? Boot pasabot nga nalanggong lang diha sa banko kay wa na may nag manage ining kuartaha. Sa una kay ang United Coconut Planters Bank man ang investment manager ining kuartaha unja pag-abot sa gobierno ni Cory gitangtangan man nila ug otoridad ang Planters Bank kay kuno ang tag-iya si Danding Cojuangco ug gikawat lang kuno ni Danding ang kuarta. Ug gikawat napriso na unta si Danding.

Kini karong "levy funds" aron molihok ning kuartaha ibalik ang Cocofed ug ang management sa UCPB kay wa man sila'y nakita nga dautan sa pag manage ni Danding Cojuangco ug ang nakita lang mao ang pagka masinahon sa ubang tawo batok ni Danding Cojuangco.       

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Re: The Never-ending Case of Philippine Coco-Levy Funds
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2012, 08:22:23 AM »
posible pud WN. kay kung dili pa maayo modala ug kwarta si Danding, dili unta mahimong global corporation ang San Miguel. I read it somewhere that San Miguel is buying companies abroad, including in Australia.

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Re: The Never-ending Case of Philippine Coco-Levy Funds
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2012, 04:55:06 PM »
Sakto ka TB.c! Gihimo ni Danding na global corporation ang San Miguel. Boot paliton ni Danding ang Cascade Brewery sa Tasmania pero wa madayon tungod kay nahadlok sila ni Danding nga makasud ang San Miguel diri nga mahimong competitive sa mga Australian branded beer. Ang gi offer sa gobierno ang Berri Juices nga import karon nga naa diha sa Pinas. Ako dia ko manukad sa Australia ug kanang ideya ni Danding bahin sa Cocofed kopya niya na diri sa Australia. Ang farmers diri puro miembro ug kapunungan ug gahatag ug levy sila sa kapunungan. Pananglitan Australian Dairy Product, Australian Meat Ex & Imp. Australian Wheat, Australian Wool ug uban pa. Kini mga farmers association diri wa ni bombaha sa diario. 



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