SUBIC BAY FREEPORT ZONE: The founding owners and majority stockholders of Subic Bay Marine Exploratorium Inc. (SBMEI), which runs Ocean Adventure and Camayan Beach Resort here, said there was nothing illegal in the repossession of the property they initiated and the subsequent removal of the company’s former executive.
“What took place on February 13 was a lawful exercise of our property rights,” said Scott Sharpe, who with Gail Laule, were two of the original investors and pioneering executives of Ocean Adventure, Southeast Asia’s premier open water marine park, and the Camayan Beach Resort property located at the Camayan Wharf inside the Subic Bay freeport.
Sharpe, newly-voted president and chief executive officer of the marine park replacing Arthur Tai and Laule, made the clarification to allay concerns of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) particularly its administrator and CEO Wilma Eisma, who earlier sought an explanation about the February 13 incident.
Sharpe told SBMEI employees last week that Tai became involved when they approached him after the departure of former top executive Timothy Desmond from Ocean Adventure.
“Tai helped us in previous business management transactions, so we decided to employ him again, considering his expertise is human resources, animal management and animal care, even if he had no extensive executive management expertise,” he said.
Sharp added that he and Laule were the founding owners and majority stockholders of SBMEI, saying, “Tai is a mere trustee and managerial employee who abused the trust and confidence reposed upon him as such because he engaged in fraudulent activities that amounted to a hostile corporate takeover.”
For this reason, he said, the Voting Trust Agreements given to Tai were revoked in September 2016 and his employment was terminated in November on the ground of breach of trust and confidence.
Tai filed a lawsuit seeking immediate relief via a Status Quo Ante Order, which the Olongapo City Regional Trial Court denied on November 8 and dismissed on January 12, 2017.
Sharpe denied reports there were Philippine National Police (PNP)-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) personnel present during the February 13 incident.
He said it was members of the PNP Morong (Bataan) who provided the required police visibility pursuant to a written directive of the PNP regional director.
Sharpe added that operations at the theme park and the resort have continued since February 13, with normal number of visitors and most of the 350 permanent staff continued to perform their jobs.