Amb ALC Holdings scores victory on  Mc Adore row

February 14, 2016 at 4:34 pm Leave a comment

DAGUPAN CITY – The buyer of the Mc Adore building scored its first victory at the 10th Division of the Court of Appeals (CA) which ruled that the complainant failed to prove that public funds were illegally disbursed or used for unlawful purposes.
The CA said the case should not be called as a “taxpayer suit” as the allegation of the complainant as well as the documentary evidence included did not qualify as such.
It added that what was involved in this controversy was a contractual obligation between a government entity exercising its propriety right to sell its assets and a private corporation which bought the same.
Leo Angeles sued for annulment of sale, reconveyance and damages on October 22, 2014 after former City Mayor Benjamin S. Lim sold the seven-storey Mc Adore International Palace and theatre building including its equipment and machinery for P119 million to AmbALC Holdings and Management Corporation, Inc.
The Makati City based corporation won in a public bidding on January 7, 2013..
Angeles complained on July 7, 2014 at the Branch 42 of the Regional Trial Court here that the bidding process of the properties was defective as notice of auction sale was not published and the payment was grossly inadequate on the part of the government.
Mayor Belen Fernandez, not a party to the case, said the sale was grossly disadvantageous to the government, saying the building cost from P250 to P300 million.
 AmbALC argued that private respondent Angeles was not the real party in interest and did not have a locus standi or legal standing thus his suit could not prosper.
 On October 3 of the same year, Angeles countered that he could sue because the contract was a public property. He argued in that he could do this as taxpayer and a concerned resident of this city.

The AmbALC, owned by former Ambassador Antonio Cabangon, challenged again the legal standing of Angeles in the case.
RTC Judge Florentino R. Dumlao denied the petition of Amb ALC as “the action was of paramount interest for the government.”
 In January 5, 2015 the RTC also rejected the Motion for Reconsideration (MR) of the AmbALC, which then filed for a certiorari at the Court of Appeals.
The Court of Appeals, in a decision penned by Associate Justice Zenaida T. Galapate-Laguilles, reversed the RTC’s decision, saying  there was an abject failure for Angles to prove that public funds were illegally disbursed or used for unlawful purposes.
“Neither is there an averment that the City Government of Dagupan, in entering into a transaction with petitioner, has caused material injury to its coffers and the residents, including private respondent,” the court said.
 “There is no showing that the contract causes pernicious influence to society impeded the local government in the dispensation of its services, or provokes public disorder. In fact, private respondent’s complaint is sorely empty of any allegation that the contract partook of such transcendal importance or encompassed issues of such nature which must be addressed with alacrity”.
The CA said it granted on the petition of Holdings, Inc. to annul and dismiss Civil Case No. 2014-0197-D.
Aside from Associate Justice Zenaida T. Galapate-Laguilles, Associate Justices Mariflor P. Punzalas Castillo and Florito S. Macalino voted for the petition.
Rules of Court says that Angeles can file an MR on the  December 11, 2015 decision of the CA but if it rejected it again the petitioner can elevate his taxpayer’s suit to the Supreme Court for another lengthy process.

Entry filed under: News.


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