She is no Imelda Marcos, but once upon a time Edna Camcam was considered to be nearly as powerful as the former first lady.
This was because Camcam, now 70, was the long-time girlfriend of much feared Armed Forces Chief of Staff Fabian Ver, who is also the cousin of former President Ferdinand Marcos.
Camcam joined Ver when the general joined the Marcos family in exile following the People Power revolt in 1986.
The dictator is long gone, as is the general who publicly goaded him to fire upon the crowd that had gathered at EDSA for three days in February of 1986. Imelda Marcos has returned to power (she is now Representative of Ilocos Norte).
And Edna Camcam?
She has just lost a court case where she sought to remain in the Forbes Park property she has called home for a number of years, to a member of the Madrigal family no less.
On December 16 last year, Judge Winlove Dumayas of Regional Trial Court branch 59, Makati City, ruled that the property at No. 3 Cambridge Circle, Forbes, was owned by physician Daniel Vasquez, married to Maria Luisa Madrigal.
Vasquez had asked Camcam to leave the property after living there rent-free since returning to the Philippines in the mid 1990s. Camcam refused, claiming to be its true owner, despite having no documents to prove her claim.
Camcam along with investment banker/real estate developer Benjamin Bitanga had sued Vasquez for control of the property. Camcam, together with Bitanga, had filed a reconveyance case with verified application for preliminary injunction against Vazquez.
This, after Bitanga had executed a “Sale with Right of Repurchase” on September 27, 1994 over the property in favor of Vasquez. That same day, Camcam executed a notarized “Guaranty” giving her warranty and guaranty on the sale of the property from United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB) and Bitanga, then from Bitanga to Vasquez.
That sale merely confirmed what Vasquez had been claiming all along, that he had allowed Camcam to stay in the property as an accommodation to their friendship that stretched back to the Marcos era.
For her part, Camcam claimed to have purchased the multi million-peso property, and had been making payments on it until the People Power broke out.
With Camcam and Ver out of the picture, the property would have been foreclosed. But she asked the Madrigal family—specifically “Ising” Madrigal Vasquez and her husband, Dr. Daniel Marquez—to take over payments, in effect selling them the house and lot. The Vasquez couple agreed.
The Makati court ruled that neither Camcam nor Bitanga had taken any step to annul two documents entitled “Sale with Right to Repurchase.”
Judge Dumayas took cognizance of Camcam’s claim that she was a veteran banker with 28 years’ experience who was an expert in mortgage transactions.
The court further noted that one of Camcam’s lawyers, who served as her advisor during the transaction, was retired Supreme Court justice Serafin Cuevas, lead defender of impeached High Tribunal Chief Justice Renato Corona during Corona’s trial in 2012.
The Forbes property is covered by TCT 213002 and is in the name of Vasquez, who also provided the court proof that he had been paying taxes on the property since 2003.
The legal squabble between Vasquez, on one hand, and Camcam and Bitanga, on the other, began when the registered owner asked the tenant to vacate his property within 30 days last January 2, 2012. Two weeks later, Camcam filed a complaint for unlawful detainer.
The fairly speedy resolution of the case was aided by the weaknesses in the claims of Camcam, who stated that the original sale from UCPB to Bitanga to Vasquez was “riddled with fraud” or errors. This was because Camcam herself had personally guaranteed the validity of the sale.
Camcam further claimed that she had been paying for the property through cheque payments to a certain Peak Development Inc. But she could not prove that her cheque payments were ever encashed or negotiated.
Camcam and Bitanga also raised other points on which the burden of providing proof was on their side, top of which was to show that they had actually bought the property with sufficient consideration. The pair did not do so.
In issuing a summary judgment without trial, the court noted a Supreme Court ruling that says “summary judgment is proper even if issues apparently exist, but the said issues are sham, fictitious or not genuine.”
Judge Dumayas noted that Camcam’s “admitted facts . . . confirm defendant’s ownership over the property.”
With the judgment, Camcam now has to decide whether to appeal her case, or look for a new place to stay. With her lover no longer around to protect her, and with the original family of Ver opting to remain abroad, Edna Camcam is finding out that the doors that were once open to her have long since been closed shut.