PLDT Inc. confirmed on Tuesday that a US shareholder filed a securities class-action lawsuit on Feb. 6 in the federal district court in the Central District of California.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the company said the complaint was filed by Sophia Olsson, who is said to be a holder of PLDT securities.
The class-action lawsuit named PLDT as a defendant along with nine of its current or former employees.
A class-action lawsuit allows many people with similar grievances to sue a common defendant as a group, in this case, the US-based shareholders of PLDT.
In a 45-page document posted on CourtListener.com, Ms. Olsson filed a class-action complaint against PLDT and its officers for allegedly violating Federal Securities Laws where a jury trial was demanded.
The individual defendants in the case are PLDT Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan; President and Chief Executive Officer Alfredo S. Panlilio; Chief Financial Officer and Chief Risk Management Officer Anabelle L. Chua; Chief Legal Counsel, Head of Legal and Regulatory Affairs, and Corporate Secretary Marilyn A. Victorio-Aquino; Vice-President, Head of Corporate Services and Liability Management Insurance, and Assistant Corporate Secretary Abner Tito L. Alberto; and First Vice-President of Financial Reporting and Controllership Gil Samson D. Garcia.
The case also identified three former officers of the company as individual defendants, namely Ma. Lourdes C. Rausa-Chan, Florentino D. Mabasa, Jr., and June Cheryl A. Cabal-Revilla.
The case read that it is “a class action on behalf of persons or entities who purchased or otherwise acquired publicly traded PLDT securities” between Jan. 1, 2019 and Dec. 19, 2022.”
In her allegations, the plaintiff Ms. Olsson said that the company issued “materially false and misleading statements” from 2019 to 2022.
The case cited the disclosures of the company that stated its capital expenditures during the period up to the latest regulatory filing where PLDT disclosed a budget overrun amounting to P48 billion.
After the company disclosed the budget overrun, it saw a 19.35% decline in the price of its shares to P1,192 apiece on Dec. 19, 2022.
“As a result of defendants’ wrongful acts and omissions, and the precipitous decline in the market value of the company’s common shares, plaintiff and other class members have suffered significant losses and damages,” the case read.
PLDT said it “has not been served with a copy of the complaint, as required under US law, and does not have any further information regarding the lawsuit at this time.”
On Tuesday, shares in the company closed unchanged at P1,326 apiece. — Justine Irish D. Tabile