• CA ruling favors GGDC in Clark Freeport Zone row

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    THE CONTINUING battle between Global Gateway Development Corp. (GGDC) and Peregrine Development International Inc. (PDII) over the development of the 177-hectare Global Gateway Logistics City (GGLC) project in Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga has taken a definitive turn after the Court of Appeals (CA) ruled in favor of GGDC.

    In a nine-page resolution dated October 21, 2014, the CA’s eighth division ruled against PDII, which has been trying to block development of the GGLC and one of its locators, Medical City Clark hospital, after it was dropped by GGDC as exclusive contractor for the project.

    The first locator at the GGLC, Medical City Clark is a world-class hospital that is on track for its grand opening in December this year. The 150-bed hospital is said to be already 95 percent complete.

    “This court resolved to grant the prayer of petitioner (Global Gateway Development Corp.) for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction after it has been satisfactorily shown that the legal requirements for the issuance of preliminary injunction are present in this case,” the appellate court said.

    The CA also issued a writ of preliminary injunction stopping Angeles City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 58 Presiding Judge Omar T. Viola from issuing further decisions on the case. Judge Viola earlier ruled in favor of Peregrine, despite the ongoing arbitration case between the two companies in Singapore.

    Peregrine filed a complaint with the RTC after GGDC lodged an arbitration case against Peregrine in a Singapore court, in which GGDC alleged substantial breaches of the engineering, procurement and management agreement between Peregrine and GGDC.

    GGDC, however, said that the engineering, procurement and management pact with PDII has already been terminated for reasons expressly allowed under the agreement and that as a consequence, PDII has lost its right to be the sole and exclusive contractor for the project.

    In its ruling, the CA enjoined Judge Viola and Peregrine against implementing the Angeles City regional trial court’s June 13 and 27 decisions, as well as the June 30 writ of preliminary injunction issued by the judge.

    The appellate court ruled to stop Judge Viola from “conducting further proceedings in said case as well as in the related case of petition for indirect contempt…pending the final resolution of this petition or until writ is sooner lifted by the court.”

    The CA had earlier ruled in favor of GGDC to regain control of the Global Gateway Logistics City project whose development is being blocked by Peregrine. GGDC has reportedly invested over $100 million in GGLC.

    GGDC president Mark Williams said the decision of the Court of Appeals will help the company complete work on the Medical City Clark hospital project by the end of the year. He said the hospital will provide world-class health services to thousands of Filipinos in the region.

    With the legal stumbling blocks out of the way, GGDC plans to start construction of five buildings adjacent to Medical City Clark with about 10 to 12 floors each, Williams added. GGDC is investing another $100 million for the five buildings.

    Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) earlier affirmed its commitment to the terms of the lease agreement with GGDC. GGDC and CIAC signed a 50-year lease pact on July 16, 2008 for the 177-hectare project, which came to a halt this year after Peregrine prevented GGDC from exercising its rights over the project, including the completion of the Medical City Clark hospital.

    “Of particular importance is GGDC’s development and completion of the Medical City Clark hospital in time for the APEC conference next year. We fully support these initiatives which we consider a faithful compliance to our lease agreement,” CIAC said

    The Philippines is hosting next year’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit meetings. Voltaire Palaña

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