THE corporation running the Uniwide Coastal Mall in Parañaque City on Monday asked the Public Estates Authority (PEA) to take back a 41-hectare reclaimed property from the Manila Bay Development Corp. (MBDC).
Uniwide Sales Realty and Resources Corp. (USRRC) called on the PEA to reclaim the property on which Uniwide built its Coastal Mall along Roxas Boulevard that MBDC acquired for just P480 million.
The property is now worth a whopping P41 billion.
“Please take back 41 hectares at Roxas Boulevard Parañaque worth P41 billion from Manila Bay Development Corporation which paid P480 million only to the Filipino people,” USSRC said in a published statement.
The USSRC issued the statement as it took legal action against its errant lessor MBDC after the Parañaque City Regional Trial Court (RTC) affirmed the failure of MBDC to develop the lot, called Central Business Park II, into a business or commercial district as provided in the sales contract.
In Civil Case 14-0288 for Declaratory Relief by a Taxpayer, petitioner USRRC asked the Parañaque City RTC to cancel the PEA’s Deed of Sale and supplemental Deed of Sale with MBDC for the buyer’s violation of the terms and conditions of the award.
The respondents in this case filed are MBDC and PEA along with, as necessary parties, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) and the Parañaque City’s Register of Deeds and Office of the City Assessor.
Petitioner USRRC noted that MBDC had acquired the prime property despite a “very low” bid of only P472 million—or a mere P1,150 per square meter—because the sale was contingent on the would-be winning bidder’s development of the lot within five years of the sale agreement.
It said MBDC’s failure to introduce any development until now (or 16 years into the accord) on what was promised to be a Greenhills-type complex, and its admission in a pleading in another legal case that “it did not make any commitment of development” with respect to this Central Business Park II lot, means it is in default of both the original Deed of Sale in 1988 and the supplemental accord in 1989.
USRRC chairperson Jimmy Gow testified in court that he decided in 1992 to put up Uniwide’s Coastal Mall there after being repeatedly assured by MBDC’s Jacinto Ng that he would develop it into a Greenhills-type district.
Ng is the founder of Republic Biscuit Corp. (Rebisco Biscuit Corp.), which was a major food supplier of the retail chain during its heyday when it controlled—through the Uniwide Warehouse Club—some 50 supermarkets in Metro Manila.
“The award to MBDC by PEA must therefore be reviewed and cancelled, including the Deed of Sale and the Supplemental Deed of Sale,” said USRRC in its complaint lodged at RTC Branch 195, as the buyer’s default “is clearly disadvantageous to the government and the general public.”
USRRC said it sought court intervention just now because it was able to obtain PEA records only last July showing that MBDC had managed to acquire Central Business Park II through public bidding.