Biz Buzz: Landlord versus homeowners
DEPENDING on which side you hear from, the property developer is either an unreasonable landlord or one that’s only asserting its right to property and to “ensure tranquility and security” in the community. The homeowners’ association, on the other hand, is either a Machiavellian club without regard for due process or a pro-active vanguard of the community’s well-being.
Ayala Land Inc. has sued Ayala Alabang Village Association (AAVA) for demolishing the perimeter wall in two dead-end locations in the subdivision and constructing new gates without its consent. In a 22-page civil case filed at the Regional Trial Court of Muntinlupa City on Oct. 9, ALI said AAVA had violated its right of ownership of these walls and road lots (being leased to AAVA). It asked the court to stop the use of the “illegally constructed” gates and to order AAVA to restore the walls to their original state at its own cost.
“ALI strategically designed the points of entry and the perimeter wall in the AAV not only to keep the village peaceful, private and exclusive but also to keep all the AAV residents secure in their homes,” said ALI, which is represented by Accra Law in this suit.
ALI claimed it would suffer “irreparable injury” to its reputation and good will.
ALI claimed it had required written approval from 75 percent of affected homeowners as one key condition to the opening of the gate and not just the consent from majority of village homeowners.
Shortly before the demolition of the walls, AAVA had written to ALI through legal counsel Arthur Autea and Associates asking the developer to keep its “hands off” the issue. “We hope that you realize that while the issue drags on because of your unnecessary and unreasonable conditions, thousands of AAV residents continue to be suffocated in their village, which is ALI’s creation and responsibility,” the legal counsel said.
“Our reading of the law is that the residents can legally demand from ALI that the lot be delivered to them as a road rather than ALI preventing the residents from using it as a road,” the letter said. It claimed ALI had failed to specify where in AAVA’s deed of restriction one could find the stringent provision regarding the opening of the gates, deemed by AAVA as key to improving traffic flow in the village.
Arthur Autea warned ALI that its office had been mandated to file for mandatory injunction to compel it to donate all the open spaces in AAV to the local government of Muntinlupa City, citing as ground Presidential Decree 1216 (circa 1987) which requires the donation to the local government unit of open spaces of a subdivision after its completion. The law office also threatened to file criminal cases against the “irresponsible” officers and controlling persons of ALI for alleged violation of such PD 1216.
The law office accused ALI of “throwing its weight” on the basis of the latter being the lessor to AAVA of the open spaces, which it argued was a basis to nullify ALI’s lease contracts regarding these open spaces. The real fireworks have just begun. Doris Dumlao-Abadilla
Smuggler in robes, redux
A MAJOR automotive dealer recently had a grand event at its main showroom with only its associates and VIP buyers invited to the ritzy gathering.
Our buzzard was surprised to find out that our smuggler in robes—who brought in the 14 luxury cars seized at the Batangas port in August—was rubbing elbows with the car importer’s big bosses at the party.
The smuggler in robes, who occupies a high position in an influential religious group, has obviously recovered from a car crash in which he thrashed his Ford GTO along Edsa recently.
The smuggler in robes was the main topic of conversation during the cocktails when he arrived in his white coupe backed by a fleet of equally coveted sports cars from his stable.
His backup cars were displayed at the main door because the smuggler in robes was looking to do some business that night. As we have reported previously, this smuggler can sell his units at half the price charged by “casa” vendors because he mis-declares them as entry level models to evade prohibitive taxes and duties.
Our eagle-eyed buzzard, however, couldn’t help but notice the fake conduction stickers plastered on these flashy cars. You see, the smuggler has become the king of used sports cars because of his connections not only with Bureau of Customs agents but also with the Highway Patrol Group.
Did we forget to mention that the smuggler in robes was seen hobnobbing with top Department of Finance executives during the party? No wonder this smuggler and his financiers are virtually untouchable at the BOC. Only their dummies were charged in Batangas smuggling case. Gil Cabacungan
IT’S not all controversy in the local telco scene. One of the industry’s pillars, lawyer Rodolfo Salalima, launched a book that may very well be the bible for those with any interest in the telecommunications sector here.
The book, “Telecommunications in the Information Revolution”, draws on Salalima’s 40 years of experience in the industry.
Salalima, an author of the National Telecommunications Commission’s rules of procedure, naturally places a lot of focus on how laws and regulations evolved in the Philippines. He even provides some legal commentary for law students, industry practitioners and even non-lawyers.
The book also goes beyond this to explain how technologies shape people’s lives, our everyday rights in an Internet era and even touches on where we are headed, or as Salalima placed it, “some science fiction.”
Like many good ideas, it has a simple starting point. Salalima decided one day to write a book about the lectures on telecommunications he has been giving all these years. Apparently, it’s not that hard when one knows the subject matter by heart.
The University of the Philippines is supporting the publication, meaning it can be bought at the UP Law Center in Diliman, Quezon City. Miguel R. Camus
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