CA junks Globe Asiatique’s case vs Pag-IBIG Fund
Jose Rodel Clapano (The Philippine Star) - November 30, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Court of Appeals (CA) has dismissed the complaint of Globe Asiatique Realty Holdings against the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF or Pag-IBIG Fund), Vice President Jejomar Binay announced yesterday.

Binay, chairman of the Pag-IBIG Fund, said the appellate court reversed and set aside the decision of Judge Eugene Paras of the Regional Trial Court of Makati Branch 58 in the CA’s Amended Decision promulgated last Nov. 21.

Paras had originally nullified the unilateral cancellation by Pag-IBIG of the continuing Funding Commitment Agreements (FCAs) and Collection Servicing Agreement (CSA) it entered into with Globe Asiatique, saying Pag-IBIG breached its memorandum of agreement and funding commitment with Globe Asiatique when it refused to accept replacement buyers.

Paras’ original decision also said that Pag-IBIG and its board of trustees were guilty of breach of the provisions of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) and the FCAs it entered into with Globe Asiatique.

Pag-IBIG Fund, acting on Binay’s orders, had cancelled the FCAs and the CSA after the agency uncovered ghost buyers and other irregularities in Globe Asiatique projects.

In dismissing Globe Asiatique’s complaint against Pag-IBIG Fund, the CA pointed out that Pag-IBIG Fund chief executive officer Darlene Marie Berberabe and the individual members of the board of trustees were not even named as defendants to the case.

“Thus, it can be said that jurisdiction over the petitioner (Berberabe), as member of the board of trustees, was not properly obtained by the trial court,” the CA said.

Binay said he was hopeful the CA’s decision would also lead to the dismissal of the case against the Pag-IBIG board of trustees.

According to the CA, “the rest of the members of the said board may benefit from the dismissal of the complaint against petitioner Berberabe. After all, petitioner Berberabe and the board of trustees, which she is a member of, are similarly situated.”

Binay is also chair of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC).

He had previously ordered the filing of syndicated estafa charges against Globe Asiatique owner Delfin Lee and several others after an investigation revealed that Lee had used fake documents and ghost borrowers to secure some P7 billion in loans from Pag-IBIG.

Lee filed the petition after the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a P6.65-billion syndicated estafa case against him and four others over the alleged anomalous loans granted by Pag-IBIG to ghost borrowers who supposedly bought homes in Globe Asiatique’s Xevera housing project in Mabalacat, Pampanga.

He accused Pag-IBIG of reneging on its contractual obligations as a result of the alleged loan irregularities.

Pag-IBIG cancelled its contract with Globe Asiatique following the housing agency’s discovery of the alleged ghost buyers.

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