The Court of Appeals has stopped the public bidding, auction, sale, disposal, and transfer of properties, assets, and credits under the name of the padlocked Banco Filipino Savings and Mortgage Bank.
In a decision, the CA’s 10th Division, through Associate Justice Ronaldo Roberto B. Martin, granted the plea for cease and desist order of the Banco Filipino’s stockholder, Ekistics Philippines, Inc., which challenged an earlier order of the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp.
“PDIC’s precipitate haste in attempting to sell the assets of Banco Filipino is tantamount to grave abuse of discretion on its part,” the CA stressed.
The appellate court noted that the bank’s receivership issue was still pending with the Supreme Court.
“Respondent PDIC is hereby ordered to desist from selling the assets of Banco Filipino covered under the liquidation proceeding before the Regional Trial Court of Makati City, Branch 66, pending final determination of the Supreme Court in G.R. No. 210249,” the CA ruled.
“In the instant case, the status quo wherein the assets are not sold pending the ruling of the Supreme Court as to the validity of placing Banco Filipino under receivership is but safe and proper. Should it be otherwise and allow the sale even if the Supreme Court has yet to decide on its validity would render Banco Filipino without any asset and money if the Supreme Court later on rules that placing it under receivership was invalid,” the appellate court said.
Another division of the CA had stopped the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas from disposing of Banco Filipino’s assets.
The earlier ruling also said the receivership issue involving Banco Filipino was still pending with the SC.
Case records showed that in 1985 Banco Filipino was padlocked but was ordered reopened by the SC nine years later in 1994.
On March 17, 2011, the BSP and the Monetary Board again placed Banco Filipino under the receivership of the PDIC, which ordered its liquidation on Oct. 27, 2011.
The BSP-MB’s orders on receivership and liquidation have been elevated by the bank’s shareholders to the SC where the case is still pending.
The trial court suspended the liquidation of Banco Filipino as it acted favorably on the case filed by the bank’s stockholders.
However, while the liquidation proceedings were suspended, BSP published in its website an invitation to bid for the sale of certain properties, including those of Banco Filipino’s.
In ruling against PDIC, the CA pointed out that “any decision of the Supreme Court would render moot and academic all issues raised with this Court as well as the lower court.”
Citing an example, the CA said if the Supreme Court found that the MB Res. 372-A was invalid, the PDIC and the RTC had no jurisdiction to dispose of Banco Filipino’s assets as its closure and receivership and apparent liquidation were all for naught.
“On the other hand, if the Supreme Court finds that the placement of Banco Filipino under receivership was valid, then the MB’s succeeding order of placing it under liquidation, absent any finding to the contrary, would be considered valid and the RTC could continue its liquidation proceeding,” the appellate court said.
The appellate court said it “must maintain the status quo of the parties until such time the Supreme Court has ruled on the validity of placing Banco Filipino under receivership.”