SC asked to reconsider ruling on PEA-Amari deal
- Zinnia B. Dela Peña () - June 5, 2003 - 12:00am
Prime Orion Philippines Inc. (POPI), a shareholder of publicly-listed Cyber Bay Corp., has asked the Supreme Court to reconsider its final ruling nullifying the joint venture agreement between the Public Estates Authority (PEA) and the Amari Coastal Bay Development Corp. to develop 153 hectares of land reclaimed from Manila Bay.

Cyber Bay is the parent company of Amari Coastal Bay Development Corp. (now known as Central Bay Reclamation and Development Corp.).

In its appeal, POPI said the nullification of the agreement would cause irreparable losses to Cyber Bay stockholders who have invested their funds in the Amari project.

The Supreme Court (SC) declared as null and void the amended joint venture agreement (AJVA) of PEA and Central Bay, for alleged violation of the constitutional provision prohibiting private corporations to own land of public domain without going through public bidding.

"The nullification of the AJVA on the ground that its object is contrary to law is without basis. The object of the AJVA is not reclaimed land but the service to be rendered by Amari, which the is act of reclamation. Reclamation in itself is not contrary to law, morals, good customs or public policy. The act of reclamation is most certainly within the commerce of man and is a vital service utilized by the Republic to increase national wealth and cannot be cited as an improper object to invalidate a contract," POPI said.

POPI said the SC ruling heightened the negative perception of investors with regard to policies of government on investments.

"It is most unfair and a violation of procedural and substantive rights for the government to encourage investors, both Filipino and foreign, to invest in income generating national construction ventures (such as reclamation), form corporations, build infrastructures, spend money and efforts only to be told that the invitation to invest is unconstitutional or illegal with absolutely no indication of how they could be compensated for their work," POPI said.

POPI said the nullification of the deal would also adversely affect other projects of similar nature to the prejudice of all shareholders and employees of project proponents and the investing public in general.

AMARI AMARI COASTAL BAY DEVELOPMENT CORP BAY CENTRAL BAY CENTRAL BAY RECLAMATION AND DEVELOPMENT CORP CYBER BAY CYBER BAY CORP MANILA BAY PRIME ORION PHILIPPINES INC PUBLIC ESTATES AUTHORITY SUPREME COURT
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