By Genalyn D. Kabiling and Charissa M. Luci-Atienza
Malacañang and Congress have vowed that government officials involved in the alleged anomalous stock trading will be fired and prosecuted in court if warranted.
Acting Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said Social Security System (SSS) chairman Amado Valdez have already ordered an investigation into the alleged wrongdoing of some agency officials.
“There will be prosecutions, there will be people who will be fired and criminal charges filed, if warranted,” Roque said in a Palace news conference.
Roque noted that it was Valdez who revealed the allegations against some SSS executives involved in “insider trading” in the local stock market.
“It shows that the SSS, in line with the administration’s goal of eradicating corruption, will not tolerate foul play, particularly in the management of the SSS funds. I think that was very clear,” he said.
Four SSS officials have been accused of trading their stocks with the same brokers who managed the portfolio of the government pension agency. Two of the embattled SSS executives have reportedly resigned their posts.
The anomaly has also drawn the attention of Congress with the House Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries set to conduct a probe into the allegedly improper and illegal act of stocks trading of certain SSS officials.
Committee chairman Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone said his panel had jurisdiction over “all matters directly and principally relating to insurance, securities, and securities exchange.”
“Thus, it is equipped with power to determine and address possible insider trading, as well as conflict of interest on the part of stakeholders in securities and securities exchange, such as stock brokers and corporate officers,” he said in a still unnumbered resolution.
He said the committee will pursue the congressional probe, following recent reports revealing that certain key SSS officials who may have access to SSS Funds have resigned or were placed on ‘floating’ status for their alleged involvement in profiteering.
Meanwhile, Valdez said that there had been no misuse of government funds, but the officials were being probed for possible conflict of interest.
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