HGC finally takes control of Manila Harbour CentreBy Jerome Aning
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The state-owned Home Guaranty Corp. (HGC) finally took control of the 79-hectare Manila Harbour Centre (MHC) on Thursday night after court sheriffs accompanied by 300 policemen succeeded in enforcing a city judge’s order to R-II Builders Corp. to turn over the property to HGC.
The HGC said its officials and various locators doing business at MHC had “flushed out” with the help of the police the security guards posted by R-II.
In a statement, HGC president Manuel Sanchez said there was a double posting of guards following the police’s initial refusal to evict R-II last week.
R-II officials and security guards padlocked the gates of MHC and its offices on Nov. 9 when the sheriffs first tried to enforce the court order.
HGC lawyer Eric Quevedo said the sheriffs and policemen had to use a hammer to destroy the padlock at the management office of MHC “which had the appearance of having been closed in a hurry by their previous occupants.”
The contents of the office were photographed in line with HGC’s position that the financial books of R-II’s management team at MHC should be thoroughly scrutinized for prosecution of possible misdeeds.
Later in the evening, Quevedo said, the collector tasked by R-II to collect P50 for every truck passing through MHC’s gate had to be apprehended when he tried to run away with the day’s collection instead of turning it over to the new management.
“We look forward to a normalization of office operations by next week. However, the egress and ingress of trucks carrying goods are normal,” he told the Inquirer in a phone interview.
Manila Regional Trial Court Judge Lyhila Abella-Aquino ordered the policemen to assist the sheriffs in evicting the holdout security guards and personnel of R-II.
She said the case had long been settled against R-II owner Reghis Romero and that the latter’s motion for reconsideration and motion to quash the writ of execution had also been denied with finality.
In her Nov. 14 order, Aquino debunked R-II’s claim that no writ had been issued yet on the case, adding that the policemen should have enforced her Nov. 9 order for HGC’s takeover of MHC
In her latest order, the judge said there was already a decision on the case for which an order dated Aug. 3, 2010, was issued granting the issuance of a writ of execution. She added that the writ was issued on Apr. 3, 2012.
On Oct. 19, 2012, the court denied R-II’s urgent motion to quash the writ of execution that this case has long become final and executory. It also directed R-II to immediately turn over all common areas, utilities, facilities to HGC and other business locators.
“The Oct. 19, 2012, and Nov. 9, 2012, orders are the end-result of all the decision and writ of execution orders earlier issued by this court in this case,” the judge said.