Aug 062013

In my last column, I mentioned about this raging controversy at the Infinity Tower condominium involving two groups claiming control over a company that owns units at said condominium.

Last July 29, Optimax International Corp., headed by Joaquin Rodriguez Jr., filed a manifestation with a motion to dismiss the case filed by one Martin Nicolo de los Angeles against Quadrillion Property Development Corp.

According to Optimax, the case is a deliberate attempt by Byucksan Engineering, Seokwan Hahn, Oliver Bonus, delos Angeles, and their alleged dummy entities namely Archinet International, Greenstone Serviced Residences Makati, the Mendozas, to circumvent the rules against forum shopping and intended to violate an existing preliminary injunction issued by the Makati RTC Branch 66.

Optimax owns 60 percent of Beccomax Property and Development Corp. while the rest is owned by Byucksan. Beccomax owns condo units at Infinity Tower.

Last April 11, Optimax was able to secure a writ of preliminary injunction from RTC Branch 66, in which order the court enjoined Greenstone Serviced Residences, its president Oliver Bonus, and/or Seokwan Han to turn over the equipments, computer cards/keys, and locks to Quadrillion, and for respondents to stop interfering in the management of the building, the units, parking lot, and bookings on the property being managed by Quadrillion.

According to Optimax, the order placed Quadrillion Property Management as the lawful property manager of Infinity Tower and all units of Beccomax until final resolution of the case.

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On July 25, Optimax was informed by Quadrillion that a TRO has been issued by another RTC judge of Makati and that on July 27, delos Angeles, who claims to represent Beccomax, along with a hundred armed individuals and without assistance of the sheriff, stormed Infinity Tower and forcibly took possession of the building on the strength of the 20-day TRO.

Optimax said that all actions and cases filed between and among Optimax, Byucksan, Hahn, Bonus, delos Angeles, the Mendozas, Archinet, Greenstone and Quadrillion, relating to the property management of Infinity Tower and the composition of the board of directors of Beccomaxx are all pending before RTC Branch 66, a commercial court, and the issuance of the court of a TRO would constitute interference with the jurisdiction of a co-equal court.

It added that delos Angeles is not a stockholder of Beccomax and is not authorized to file the suit for and in behalf of the corporation and the General Information Sheet (GIS) submitted before the court is a falsified document. Optimax added that there has been no stockholder’s meeting called that may have placed delos Angeles, Hahn and Bonus as members of the board of directors of Beccomax.

On delos Angeles’ allegation that the filing of the complaint for TRO and injunction stemmed from the alleged act of Quadrillion, Optimax and Jack Rodriguez of destroying and stealing from the units inside Infinity Tower, in April and June of 2013, Optimax said that multiple criminal cases were filed against delos Angeles, Han, Bonus, cohorts for said incidents. “It would be illogical for Optimax and/or Jack Rodriguez, Jr. to cause the destruction of Infinity Tower and the units of Beccomax, considering that Optimax owns more than half of Beccomax. Hence, Optimax also owns the Beccomax units that were robbed and vandalized,” it added.

Meanwhile, Elsie Chua of Quadrillion clarified that Quadrillion Property Management Inc. is not the same as Quadrillion Property Development Corp., the latter being named as defendant in the case filed by delos Angeles with Makati RTC Branch 138.

According to Chua, Quadrillion Property Management, Inc. was granted a management contract to manage all the 67 condominium units and 120 parking units of Beccomax and the common areas in the Infinity Tower Condominium. However, Quadrillion Property has not yet assumed its duties and responsibilities as property manager pending compliance by the unit owners of certain basic requirements like the adoption of house rules, among others.

Chua said that de los Angeles is now coming against Quadrillion Property Development Corporation,  which is a non-existent entity, to make it appear that another party (de los Angeles) is raising the same issue against a non-existent entity to avoid the appearance of forum shopping.

“Thus, the issuance of the TRO by the Executive Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Makati City was made under false pretenses made by de los Angeles and Atty. Cuison and without full disclosure of all relevant facts and circumstance. The deliberate attempt of Atty. Cuison, who is a privy to all the cases filed by Archinet International, Inc., Greenstone  Serviced Residences Makati Inc., Seokwhan Hahn and Oliver Bonus in court, in not disclosing the pendency of multiple intra-corporate cases  in a co-equal court constitute dishonesty and a complete disregard of his oath as a lawyer and is sufficient ground for his disbarment,” she added.


Playing favorites?

In his recent SONA, President Aquino boasted the so-called transformation of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System “from an agency in the red to one that has been earning.”

From losses of P34 million in 2010, the President said that MWSS earned P333 million in 2011 and P2 billion in 2012.

Still reeling from criticisms about the hiring of more than 40 consultants, the MWSS leadership under its administrator Gerardo Esquivel, appears to be giving false information to P-Noy about the true state of the state water agency.

Nap Quinones, vice president of the MWSS Labor Association (MLA), said MWSS earned almost P1.4 billion in foreign exchange last year due to the appreciation of the peso. He said such earning does not have anything to do with the performance of the current officers of the MWSS.

The so-called gains was the basis for granting themselves fat bonuses ranging from P350,000 to P500,000 each.

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda even defended the fat bonuses given to the four officials as legal “which is a testament to the gains that can be achieved along the straight and righteous path.”

Based on the documents approved by the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel, aside from the peso appreciation, the increase in the income was due to interest in investment and deposits, progress billing coming from contractors and the concessionaires and other miscellaneous income.

“While Esquivel and the board enjoy their huge pay, regular employees are being reduced to beggars because they had removed almost all our benefits in the guise of prudent spending,” according to Quinones.

Documents obtained from the Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG) under the Office of the President showed its members, namely Cesar Villanueva, Ma. Angela Ignacio and Rainier Butalid, granted the request of the MWSS Board of Trustees to give four of its members productivity entitlement incentives for 2012 representing 90 percent of their total actual annual authorized per diems received.

Given the fat bonus entitlements were chairman Ramon Alikpala, P388,800; Esquivel, P345,600;  Emmanuel Caparas, P504,900; and Benjamin Yambao, P504,900, or a total of P1.74 million.

The grant of the bonus was made after MWSS Board of Trustees issued Board Resolution No. 2013-066-CO dated June 6, 2013 declaring that members of the Board of Trustees are entitled to receive the said amount which represents the performance-based incentive (PBI) granted by Memorandum Circular No, 2012-14.

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