Court junks complaint against Pag-Ibig

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THE Court of Appeals (CA) has dismissed the complaint of Globe Asiatique Realty Holdings against the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF or Pag-Ibig Fund), Vice President Jejomar Binay announced on Friday.

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This after the appellate court reversed and set aside the decision of Judge Eugene Paras of the Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 58 in the CA’s Amended Decision promulgated on November 21.

Paras had originally nullified the unilateral cancellation by Pag-Ibig of the continuing Funding Commitment Agreements (FCAs) and Collection Servicing Agreement (CSA) it entered with Globe Asiatique.

He said Pag-Ibig breached its memorandum of agreement and funding commitment agreements with Globe Asiatique when it refused to accept replacement buyers.

Paras’s original decision also said that Pag-IBIG and its Board of Trustees were guilty of breach of the provisions of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) and the FCAs it entered into with Globe Asiatique.

The agency, acting on the orders of the Vice President, had cancelled the FCAs and CSA after it uncovered ghost buyers and other irregularities in Globe Asiatique projects.

In dismissing the complaint, the Court of Appeals pointed out that Pag-Ibig Fund Chief Executive Officer Darlene Marie Berberabe and the individual members of the board of directors were not even named as party defendants to the case.

“Thus, it can be said that jurisdiction over the petitioner [Berberabe], as member of the Board of Trustees, was not properly obtained by the trial court,” the CA said in its decision.

Binay expressed hope that the CA’s decision would also lead to the dismissal of the case against the Pag-Ibig Board of Trustees.

“We are confident that the dismissal of the case against Atty. Berberabe will pave the way for the dismissal of the complaint against all the members of the Board of Trustees of Pag-Ibig,” Binay said.

Binay is the chair of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council and chairman of the board of Pag-Ibig.

According to the CA, “the rest of the members of the said Board may benefit from the dismissal of the Complaint against petitioner Berberabe. After all, petitioner Berberabe and the Board of Trustees are similarly instituted, which she is a member of, are similarly situated.”

The Vice President had previously ordered the filing of syndicated estafa charges against Globe Asiatique owner Delfin Lee and several others after an investigation which Binay ordered revealed that Lee had used fake documents and ghost borrowers to secure some P7billion in loans from Pag-Ibig.

Lee filed the petition after the Department of Justice filed a P6.65-billion syndicated estafa against him and four others over the alleged anomalous loans granted by Pag-Ibig Fund to ghost borrowers who supposedly bought homes in GA’s Xevera housing project in Mabalacat, Pampanga.

He accused Pag-Ibig of reneging on its contractual obligations as a result of the alleged loan irregularities.

Pag-Ibig cancelled its contract with the Globe Asiatique following the housing agency’s discovery of the alleged ghost buyers.

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