Legacy to file insolvency petition 'to protect investors'

by KAREN FLORES, abs-cbnNEWS.com

Posted at Feb 14 2009 06:10 PM | Updated as of Feb 15 2009 02:10 AM

To protect all investors and creditors of their "double-your-money" scheme, the Legacy group will be filing a petition for insolvency at the Makati Regional Trial Court next week, owner Celso de los Angeles said Saturday.

The move, de los Angeles said, will allow the scheme's 14,000 investors to be equitably paid back by the company. He added that it will organize Legacy's clients by avoiding individual and unnecessary court claims.

"Instead of clients fighting over the company's assets, it would be better to surrender all of our assets to court. We have to file the necessary court proceedings no later than next week to protect all investors and individuals," De los Angeles told reporters at the weekly media forum "Kapihan sa Sulo."

Under the petition, Legacy group legal consultant Atty. Francisco Rivera said the court will be appointing a receiver who will handle all of the company's assets and properties, and discuss among creditors on the next course of action. Rivera added that the court will set a schedule for a hearing where clients can file their claims.

"The receiver and the creditors will work together on what to do with the assets. They'll be the ones to decide, not the government," he said.

Rather than the pre-need planholders and its rural bank depositors, De los Angeles stressed that priority should be given first to those who have invested in Legacy's buy-back scheme.

Those who have deposits of P100,000 or less in Legacy's rural banks are now scheduled for payback by the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation, while a trust fund has been set up for those who have availed of Legacy's pre-need plans, which de los Angeles said is enough to pay back planholders.

However, de los Angeles said there is no safety net for those who have invested in the double-your-money scheme, thus the petition for insolvency.

Meanwhile, de los Angeles proposed that the Securities and Exchange Commission should allow pre-need firms to jointly operate a school in different regions in the country to make it easier for them to determine where they would send students who are planholders.