Former executive fails to retake marine park

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SUBIC BAY FREEPORT: Alert law enforcers foiled an attempt of an ousted official of a marine park here and some 200 suspended employees loyal to him to forcibly retake the facility on Monday.

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Former Subic Bay Marine Exploratorium Inc. (SBMEI) president and chief executive officer Arthur Tai led his group in barging inside Ocean Adventure Marine Park and Camayan Beach Resort in trying to take over the company by force as what was done to him last February 13.

The timely intervention of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) law enforcers and the presence of Morong (Bataan) police and members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Special Action Force prevented the attempted takeover.

Witnesses at the facility said the sudden arrival of Tai and his group allegedly disrupted the operation of the marine park and beach resort as well as caused damage to property when they tried to force their way into offices, breaking down doors, destroying the CCTV, turning off electricity that could endanger the lives of marine animals and allegedly threatening the workers.

A ranking employee of Ocean Adventure told The Manila Times some of the orange ribbon–wearing men and women accompanying Tai even took money from the cashiers.

Guests were also forced to leave the facility as the group allegedly tried to shut down the facility’s operations.

The same ranking employee who requested not to be named said Tai and his people tried to take over the facility armed with a letter signed by him and a certain Espinosa, claiming they are the legal management team.

The standoff between rival claimants to SBMEI  started at about 5 p.m. on Monday and lasted until dawn of Tuesday.

The witnesses said things could have turned violent if not for the SBMA law enforcers and the PNP stepping in to prevent the situation from getting out of hand.

The ranking official of the marine park sent video clips and photos that were also posted on Facebook, showing destruction of the property done by the group of the ousted official.

Ocean Adventure and Camayan Beach Resort have been at the center of an intra- corporate dispute recently with Scott Sharpe, one of the founding owners and majority shareholder of SBMEI, grabbing control of the facility from Tai last February.

Four men carrying firearms were arrested by the police.

Patrick Roxas

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