CDC president, 6 others face corruption raps

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CORRUPTION charges have been filed before the Office of the Ombudsman against Clark Development Corp. (CDC) president and chief executive officer (CEO) Arthur Tugade and six other ranking officials of the said state-owned corporation.

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The six others were identified as Noel Manakil, vice-president for administration and finance; Franco Alejo Madlangbayan, vice president for operations; Mariza Mandocdoc, officer-in-charge of the Office of the Vice President for Business Development and Business Enhancement; Perlita Sagmit, assistant vice president for legal affairs and chief legal counsel; Evangeline Tejada, assistant vice president for marketing; and Teresito Tiotuyco, assistant vice president for security and technical services.

The case was filed by Clarky’s Bike Land Cycle Center (CBLCC), a CDC locator, on the ground of the alleged inaction of Tugade and company, all members of the CDC’s management committee, on CBLCC’s request to renew a lease agreement over a parcel of land located at the picnic ground of the Clark Special Economic Zone (CSEZ) where the said complainant used to operate a bicycle range and skating rink.

In an 11-page complaint, CBLCC manager James Remy claimed that aside from ignoring their request to renew the lease agreement which they submitted in March 2009, they were also denied their right to due process.

CBLCC further alleged that the respondents approved and ordered the inventory and takeover of CBLCC’s leased property without any court order.

Moreover, the complainant said that in 2011 the CDC surreptitiously leased the area to another firm, the Clark Nature Park, Inc. (CNPI), allegedly owned by a member of the House of Representatives.

“The lease agreement is the legal basis of CBLCC’s business operations. Without the lease agreement being renewed, CDC will never issue a permit to operate to CLBCC,” the complaint alleged.

“At no fault to CBLCC, CDC refused and failed to renew the lease agreement. The non-renewal of the lease agreement was due to the fact that in 2011, CDC surreptitiously offered and awarded the area to CNPI, an entity allegedly owned by an influential political figure,” it added.

Records show that on April 6, 2006, then CDC president and CEO Antonio Ng entered into a lease agreement with CBLCC over an area of 600 square meters inside the CSEZ, valid for three years or until April 5, 2009 and renewable by the parties.

CBLCC claimed that it religiously complied with its obligations under the lease agreement and as early as March 24, 2009, it formally submitted to CDC its letter of intent to renew the contract set to expire on April 5, 2009.

It said that for two years from the time the formal request for renewal was submitted, no action has been undertaken by the CDC.

On June 29, 2011, the CBLCC, through counsel James Enriquez, wrote to CDC, reiterating its request to renew the cited lease agreement.

On November 28, 2011 or five months after, the complainant said that they were instead informed by the CDC that it has granted the lease contract over the property to CNPI and recommended that CBLCC instead apply for a sub-lease arrangement with CNPI.

On February 18, 2012, CBLCC received a “demand to vacate” from CNPI.

When retired general and now Transportation Undersecretary Eduardo Oban Jr. took over the helm of CDC, CBLCC said that they brought the matter to the new management through a letter dated April 10, 2012. The CDC management did not respond to the said letter.

The CDC eventually sent a notice of expiration of the lease agreement and notice to vacate the leased property and demand to pay arrears to CBLCC.

According to CBLCC, its predicament worsened when Tugade took over as the new president and CEO of CDC.

“It became worse when Atty. Arthur Tugade surprisingly assumed the post as CDC P/CEO. CBLCC’s lamentation persisted even more when on November 7, 2013, or 16 months after receipt of the November 23, 2011 same notice from CDC EVP (executive vice president) Philip Jose Panlilio, CBLLC receive a final notice signed by CDC’s Atty. Perlita Sagmit, demanding CBLCC to pay the sum of US$23,280.90 as lease rentals for the property,” the complaint stated.

In so doing, it pointed out, Tugade and the six other CDC officials violated Republic Act (RA) 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and RA 9485 or the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007.

“In approving and instructing the forced takeover of the lease property, the respondents have consented to the wrongdoing of the past CDC administration, especially the manifest bias in favor of CNPI and the grossly disadvan-tageous contract that CDC entered into with CNPI, in spite of CBLCC’s possession of the area, and the non-renewal of the lease agreement,” it averred.

It added: “Such capriciousness and inconsiderate demeanor of the respondents are violative of Section 3 of Republic Act No. 3019 and Section 11 of Republic Act No. 9485.”

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