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Corporate regulator loses a commissioner

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SECURITIES and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Blas James G. Viterbo has resigned for health reasons, the SEC spokesperson said on Friday, cutting his seven-year term by three years.

SEC spokesperson Armando A. Pan, Jr.said that Mr. Viterbo submitted his resignation letter to President Rodrigo R. Duterte through Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III on Thursday.

“… Commissioner Blas James Viterbo tendered his resignation to President Duterte thru DoF Secretary Carlos Dominguez, on Feb 01, 2018, for health reasons,” said Mr. Pan in a mobile phone message yesterday.

“He will prioritize his medical check up… he has irregular heartbeat… cardiac arrhythmia,” he added, saying Mr. Viterbo’s resignation “is effective upon acceptance by President Duterte.”

Mr. Viterbo is a corporate and tax lawyer by profession with experience in management, finance, public policy and entrepreneurship, according to the SEC Web site. He was appointed SEC commissioner on May 20, 2014 and took his oath on May 23, 2014.

His resignation comes amid controversy surrounding the SEC’s decision in the middle of this month to revoke the registration of online news site Rappler — which has been critical of the current administration — for violating constitutional restrictions on foreign ownership of media outfits. News reports then had noted that Mr. Viterbo did not sign that ruling.

Mr. Viterbo as well as three other members of the SEC management — Chairperson Teresita J. Herbosa, as well as commissioners Antonieta F. Ibe and Ephyro Luis B. Amatong — were appointed by former president Benigno S. C. Aquino III.

The fifth, Commissioner Emilio B. Aquino, was appointed by Mr. Duterte on Dec. 2, 2016 and took his office on Dec. 7.

The SEC leadership will shed one more member when Ms. Herbosa herself ends her term this May. — Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan

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