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Imee claims GMA shares of Duavit; IPO still on

Former Ilocos Norte representative Imee R. Marcos on Friday claimed ownership of 28.35 percent of GMA Network Inc., equivalent to shares that the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos supposedly acquired but entrusted to Gilberto Duavit Sr., father of GMA-7 chief operating officer Gilberto Duavit Jr., in 1983 or 24 years ago. In a six-page letter of request submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Imee Marcos sought but failed to secure the suspension of the GMA-7’s initial public offering(IPO) slated on Monday. She asserted that the IPO must be suspended because there was a “cloud of doubt" surrounding the ownership of the company. Interviewed by GMANews.TV, Marcos said that because she filed the letter past the 5 p.m. close of office hours, her letter would be considered filed on Monday yet. A second letter by her mother, Imelda, was pulled out at the last minute, because of typographical errors, she said. Duavit contesting claim SEC commissioner Juanita Cueto said GMA-7’s listing continues on Monday. “As of now, tuloy ang listing ng GMA. SEC cannot stop the listing, only the court can stop the listing," she said. Likewise, Atty.Gene Asuncion, lawyer of GMA-7, said the IPO would continue as scheduled on July 30, as there exists "no legal impediments." Asuncion, who is also a lawyer for Gilberto Duavit Jr., said: "Duavit is disputing this (Imee Marcos' claims) and said that he acquired the shares on his own." Imee Marcos, in her affidavit, said: "I want the public to know that there is a cloud of doubt with regard to the shares of GMA Radio Television Arts and/or its successor-in-interest which are held in the name of Mr. Duavit and/or his family, were purchased with my late father's personal funds." GMA raised P7.76 billion from its maiden offering, where it sold 91.346 million common shares and 822.115 million depositary receipts at P8.50 each, the affidavit stated. Imelda's letter Imee Marcos told GMANews.TV that her mother's affidavit was supposed to have been submitted also on Friday, except that it had an "embarrassing" misspelling of the name of one of the SEC commissioners. "There are two letters, mine and my Mom's. My Mom's, with reference to the acquisition and ownership of GMA-7 by Duavit, mine re note submitted by Duavit (in) '83 re 'silent owner' he was representing," Imee Marcos said in a text message to GMANews.TV. Asked why the Marcoses filed their letters rather belatedly, Imee Marcos explained: "We had to check if the shares were listed as sequestered in the cases before the Sandiganbayan. Our lawyers found out quite late that the GMA shares had been dropped from the lists." In the affidavit she annexed to her letter, Imee Marcos said that "sometime in 1983, my father instructed me to undertake a legal audit of certain companies in which he had an interest in." "Shortly thereafter and following a number of telephone calls and a breakfast meeting in Greenhills with then Assemblyman Gilberto Duavit and his daughter Judith, a report was sent to my office in Independent Realty Corporation Building on EDSA in Quezon City," Imee Marcos said. Assemblyman Duavit, who also served as minister for sports under Ferdinand Marcos, is the father of Gilberto Duavit Jr., who is now the executive vice president and chief operating officer of GMA Network. Handwritten note Imee Marcos attached to her affidavit a note supposedly handwritten by Gilberto Sr, on a stationery stamped with his name as assemblyman, dated September 16, 1983. The note read: "Dear Imee - I hope the presentation is clear enough. The political aspects intentionally excluded which I believe should be discussed with you personally -- with some other options in mind. regards, Sincerely, Bibit." Its postscript read: "Say hello to the champs for me." According to Imee Marcos, "based on the attached report, it is clear that Mr Duavit did not own the shares but was merely the representative of a 'silent partner.'" "I have personal knowledge of the foregoing facts because I personally handled the safekeeping of the shares of stock evidencing ownership of said shares," Imee Marcos stated. GMANews.TV is the official web site of GMA News & Public Affairs, a unit of GMA Network.- GMANews.TV