Phoenix says to address debt payment issues 'in the appropriate venue'

Phoenix says to address debt payment issues 'in the appropriate venue'
This undated file photo shows a Phoenix gas station.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc. said Friday it will settle any issues on its debt payments “in the appropriate venue” after a court reportedly slapped the company with an order freezing its bank accounts over an unpaid debt.

In a regulatory filing, the listed oil firm of Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy said it has yet to receive a copy of the Writ of Preliminary Attachment issued by Branch 14 of Nasugbu, Batangas Regional Trial Court on September 28.

The court acted on an application filed by Lucio Tan-led Absolut Distillers Inc., which claimed that Phoenix failed to settle liabilities amounting to P157 million “despite numerous demands”. The debt stemmed from Phoenix’s nonpayment of bioethanol products, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.

At the same time, the Batangas court also issued garnishment notices that freeze Phoenix’s bank accounts.

As of 1:55 p.m. Wednesday, shares in Phoenix were shedding 13.63%.

“We, at Phoenix, are determined to protect our rights and interests in the appropriate venue and assure our stakeholders that we will continue our operations and provide value to our community,” the company said.

“Rest assured that we will properly address the complaint once we have officially received them,” it added.

Last July, Udenna Corp., Uy’s holding company, avoided a massive default after settling the debt it incurred for its Clark project ahead of deadline.

Uy’s group was too leveraged when it faced a pandemic that tarnished the balance sheets of many of his businesses, some of which he acquired during the rise to power of his friend, former President Rodrigo Duterte. — Ian Nicolas Cigaral



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