CDC is ‘above the law’ in Holywood takeover

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    CLARK FREEPORT – Top executives of the Clark Development Corp. (CDC) were named anew in a supplemental complaint for “misconduct” filed on July 22 with the Ombudsman.
    This time, CDC Vice President for Finance Noel F. Manankil was included as respondent together with President- CEO Arthur P. Tugade, Mariza O. Mandocdoc, Atty. Perlita C. Mateo-Sagmit, Evangeline G. Tejada, Ricardo C. Banayat, Thelma C. Ocampo and Atty. Juvy Manwong.

    “Ours is a government of laws and not of men,” said the opening statement of the complaint pegged on CDC’s defiance of a 72-hour temporary restraining order (TRO) earlier obtained by the complainant, Eung Il “Steve” Kim, from the court.

    Kim’s legal counsel, Tricia S. Santos, said:

    “while the government has the duty and privilege to enforce the law, it should not consider itself above it.”

    Santos said CDC’s defiance of a lawful court order constitutes “misconduct” which is a valid ground for an administrative complaint.

    It can be recalled that around 3 pm on January 12, “despite full knowledge and in defiance of the TRO issued by the Executive Judge of the Angeles City RTC,” CDC employees went to Kim’s office at the Holywood Park Development Corp. (HPDC) here and forced his visitor and corporate officers to vacate the premises.

    A “food blockade” was even enforced by CDC when an HPDC employee refused to leave until he was finally forced to give up at around 9 p.m.

    To compound the situation, it was later found that the CDC had already “directly negotiated with the tenants of (HPDC) and convinced them to enter into a new lease agreement, furthering the damages suffered by HPDC.”

    Santos said foreign investors come to the Philippines “because of the representations of the government that they can enjoy a favorable business climate in the country.”

    She pointed out that “the tenants of HDPC or occupants of retirement facilities constructed and managed by HPDC are 100 percent retired foreigners.

    Unfortunately for them, they became witness to the kind of enforcement that CDC is capable of when heavily armed men and other security personnel suddenly showed up at the office.”

    She added that, “such actions by CDC create a big dent on the efforts of the government to convince investors and foreigners to stay in the Philippines.”

    Santos said, “what was clearly established from the events that transpired is that aside from the almost one-sided terms and conditions of doing business at Clark” under Tugade’s administration is that “CDC is not afraid of the law because it acts like it is above the law by showing no qualms in defying a direct order issued by the court.”

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