Legacy owner transferred to police camp

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 03 2010 01:56 PM | Updated as of Aug 04 2010 02:21 AM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) - Legacy scam mastermind Celso de los Angeles has been transferred from the St. Luke's Medical Center, where he was under hospital arrest, to Camp Karingal in Quezon City.

Elmar Galacio, legal counsel  for the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), said the transfer was made after a new arrest warrant against de los Angeles was issued by the Regional Trial Court of Ormoc City.

The arrest warrant stemmed from a syndicated estafa case filed by the BSP before the Department of Justice, involving over P480 million funds deposited in First Interstate Bank in Leyte that were allegedly swindled by the Legacy Group.

Galacio said de los Angeles was detained at the Catherdral Heights building inside the St. Luke's hospital compound by virtue of a separate arrest order issued by a local court in General Santos City.

"This only highlights the pervasiveness of the defraudation that was employed by the Legacy syndicate. The order allowing him to stay in Cathedral Heights emanated from the RTC of GenSan. That case involves an approximately P1-billion misappropriation... The warrant of arrest today is totally different from the warrant issued by the GenSan court," said Galacio.

De los Angeles, a businessman turned Albay politician, is the owner of the collapsed Legacy Group of Companies.

Along with other Legacy officials, he is facing a string of estafa cases for deceiving investors in 13 rural banks and pre-need companies via double-your-money schemes.

Reports say he was able to siphon off funds worth P30 billion.

He has evaded jail since last year because a local court allowed him to stay in hospital to get treatment for throat cancer.

The lawyer of de los Angeles is set to file a motion seeking to place his client under hospital arrest again.

Disclose vital info

In the meantime, Philip Piccio, president of the Parents Enabling Parents Coalition, said that while they want perpetrators of the Legacy scam to be brought to justice, they are amenable to de los Angeles' return to hospital as long as he discloses vital information to help solve the cases.

"If you are to stay in hospital, you might as well expose all the people (government officials) involved and where the money is and the properties that are chalked under other people's names so they can be brought back and paid back to people," he told ANC.

Piccio expects more arrest warrants will be issued against the Legacy owner in the coming months.

"There are more cases that will be filed elsewhere. There will be more warrants of arrest to be issued all over the country."

Piccio noted that de los Angeles should not have been allowed to stay at Cathedral Heights because this is not owned by St. Luke's.

"It's not owned by the hospital therefore, he's not anymore under hospital arrest."

He said this happened because the DOJ did not oppose the motion filed by de los Angeles' lawyer.

"This is quite unusual for us. The DOJ is supposed to prosecute these things and allowing him to stay there actually contradicts the very purpose of why they exist." - With a report from ANC