CA junks ABS-CBN bid to collect P11.15M from Roberto Benedicto estate
The Court of Appeals (CA) has upheld its ruling rejecting ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp.’s plea to collect P11.157 million in back rentals from the estate of the late Marcos crony and sugar baron Roberto Benedicto for the latter’s use of the media firm’s facilities during the martial law years.
“The court is of the view that no compelling reasons have been established to warrant a reconsideration of the decision we promulgated on 30 June 2016, even after a thorough consideration of the matters raised in the said motion,” wrote CA Associate Justice Zenaida T. Galapate-Laguilles in her Jan. 5 decision.
The appellate court found it “inaccurate” for ABS-CBN to claim that “constructive fraud” was enough to pierce the corporate veil or impute liability not only on RPN 9 but also on its board chair Benedicto, represented by Julita Campos Benedicto, for the unpaid rentals.
It said that ABS-CBN failed to provide “an iota of clear and convincing proof aside from self-serving and unsubstantial testimonies” to show that Benedicto acted in bad faith when he signed in 1973 the lease agreement which lasted until 1980.
The court also said that ABS-CBN failed to prove that Benedicto used ABS-CBN as cloak or cover for illegality as RPN-9’s was wasted in a fire and was forced to take over ABS-CBN’s facilities to continue its transmissions.
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