Open-minded si cong! Campos eyes commercial trial courts to fight pyramiding, Ponzi scams

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Makati City Rep. Luis Campos Jr. is pushing for the establishment of commercial trial courts to help suppress “pyramiding” and “Ponzi” scams that have so far hit more than a million Filipinos with over ₱25 billion in combined financial losses.

As proposed by Campos in House Bill (HB) 5339, commercial courts shall be established in every province or city in the country.

They shall have sole jurisdiction to hear and resolve all cases of investment fraud, as well as those involving:

• Theft of corporate funds
• Intellectual property violations
• Financial rehabilitation and liquidation
• Intra-corporate disputes, and
• Violations of admiralty and maritime laws.

Under the bill, the trial of every case before a commercial court, once begun, shall be nonstop.
The proceedings shall be completed within three months from the filing of a case. Judgment shall be delivered inside 30 days from the submission of the case for decision.

“The establishment of commercial courts is long overdue. Once we have the new courts in place, there’s no question a greater number of embezzlers will be put behind bars faster, and this in turn should help discourage other would-be swindlers,” Campos, a deputy minority leader, said.

Due to the lack of commercial courts, Campos bewailed that only two individuals have been convicted of investment fraud under the 16-year-old Securities Regulation Code, or Republic Act (RA) 8799.

He was referring to “pyramiding queen” Rosario Baladjay, who ran the Multinational Telecom Investors Corp. rip-off in the early 2000s, and Francisco Borromeo, who defrauded his clients at Asian Capital Equity Inc. from 1993 to 2003.

Baladjay and Borromeo were convicted in 2015 and 2013 respectively.