The Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday filed criminal complaints against Calata Corporation and its responsible officers at the Department of Justice for declaring false and misleading statements in violation of the Securities Regulation Code.
The action stems from Calata having violated Section 24 of the Code. In the Securities Regulation Code (SRC) it is unlawful for any person to make false or misleading statement with respect to any material fact that he knew or had reasonable ground to believe was false or misleading, for the purpose of inducing the purchase or sale of any security listed or traded at the Philippine Stock Exchange.
Calata is a listed corporation, and the disclosure has to do with a project in Cebu where they apparently intended to build a casino or resort, but when the statement was made at the Philippine Stock Exchange and at SEC, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) had issued a denial.
This denial by PAGCOR was not duly disclosed, and it was reportedly made to appear that the plan to build the casino and resort was still alive and that the corporation was allegedly expecting to receive its license sometime in 2020, when it expects to be fully operational.
Among the respondents are Joseph Calata, Atty. Jose Marie Fabella, Benison Paul de Torres, Conrado Zablan, Johnny Uy, Halmond Parker Ong, Edmund Solilapsi, Michael Foxman and some John and Jane Does.
Calata Corp. claimed to have expansion plans from its agri-business dealing in feeds, among others, into the gaming business.
The false disclosure by Calata resulted in an estimated 28.16 percent increase in the valuation of the company’s shares and a 2,455% jump in the volume of Calata shares traded at the Exchange.
According to SEC Director Atty. Jose Aquino, “this is a kind of market manipulation, giving false or misleading material information.”