The Court of Appeals (CA) has voided a multimillion-dollar deal entered into by the Philippine government and a Japanese consortium for the development of the 2,489 square-meter Nampeidai property in Tokyo, Japan.
With the decision, the appellate court reversed the earlier ruling of the Pasay Regional Trial Court (RTC) and affirmed the validity of the government’s bid for the cancellation of the notice of award that it issued to Nagayama Taisei Consortium (NTC).
In a 35-page decision penned by Associate Justice Andres Reyes Jr., the appeals court junked the June 21, 2011 ruling of Judge Maria Rosario Ragasa of Pasay City RTC Branch 108, which declared null and void the notice of cancellation issued on June 11, 2009 by the government withdrawing the award of the project to NTC.
The ruling was concurred in by Justices Rodil Zalameda and Ramon Bato of the CA’s former first Division.
The Nampeidai property is one of the country’s real estate properties in Japan that have been offered to traders under a build-operate-transfer scheme. The development and lease agreement covers 50 years. The property was neglected and unoccupied when the Philippine embassy moved to Tokyo’s Roponggi district during the stint of former President Joseph Estrada.
The CA said it voided the award because the NTC failed to comply with the requirements for the submission of a sworn undertaking.
The appellate court stressed that such failure was in violation of the terms of reference for the development of Philippine properties in Japan and the provisions of Republic Act 9184, otherwise known as the Government Procurement Reform Law.
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has investigated NTC for submitting fake documents and it was discovered that “NTC did not exist at all as a consortium.”
As such, the CA said the service development agreement signed on August 14, 2006 and its supplementary agreement was “void ab initio (from the beginning).
However, the government was ordered to make a restitution of what have been paid by stating the “return and release to private respondent appellant Tshuchiya, or any of his authorized representatives, the service development fee in the amount of 480,000,000 yen “with interest at 6 percent per annum.”