Group asks SC to nullify RII Builders-IBC 13 deal

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An anti-corruption group on Tuesday said it will ask the Supreme Court (SC) to nullify a joint venture agreement (JVA) between a private construction company and the Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation (IBC 13) for conversion of the government-owned network’s huge property in Quezon City.

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The Philippine Crusader for Justice (PCJ) headed by Joe Villanueva said they will formally ask the High Court to void the contract between RII Builders Inc.-Primestate Ventures and IBC 13 after the Office of the Ombudsman found the contract grossly disadvantageous to the government.

“This venture is one big scam,” Villanueva noted.

IBC 13 and RII-Primestate signed the contract on March 24, 2010 to develop 36,401 of the 41,401 sq. m. of IBC 13 property in Broadcast City, Capitol Hills, Diliman, Quezon City into a residential complex, and two buildings of IBC 13 in the remaining 5,000 sq. meters.

The Ombudsman filed a criminal case in 2013 against former IBC 13 executives and Primestate for violation of Republic Act 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act), and Falsification of Public Document under Article 171 of the Revised Penal Code.

According to the Office of the Ombudsman, the JVA caused undue injury to the government in the amount of P254,843,401 representing the difference between the Commission on Audit (COA) valuation and the JVA valuation of the 36,401 sq.m. property, which gave unwarranted benefits to RII-Primestate.

It said the agreement between IBC 13 and RII-Primestate was not only grossly disadvantageous but also invalid and illegal for failure to follow guidelines and procedures in entering into a JVA between the government and private entities with evident bad faith and manifest partiality in favor of RII-Primestate and to the detriment of IBC 13.

IBC 13 and Primestate executives, according to the Ombudsman, approved the agreement in haste, with misrepresentations in the clauses and over reservations made by the Presidential Commission on Good Government, Office of the Government Corporate Counsel and Office of the Solicitor General that noted deficiencies in the JVA.

In its 2011 report, COA said the land contributed to the JVA was undervalued at only P9,999.99 per sq. m when it could have been appraised at a much higher rate of P22,000 per sq. m.

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