PCGG eyes charges vs Chavit in Payanig dispute
- Rainier Allan Ronda () - September 7, 2011 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines -  The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) is studying the possibility of filing an administrative case against Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson for threatening guards and tenants at the former Payanig sa Pasig property in a bid to take control of the 18.4-hectare complex.

PCGG sources said Singson’s reported use of his position to intimidate security guards hired by PCGG-run Independent Realty Corp. (IRC), which owns the complex, is being monitored and duly reported to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Interior and Local Government.

“At the least, we are monitoring possible cases of grave threats being committed by the governor on the IRC security guards there who, fortunately, are standing their ground and using diplomacy on the armed security guards hired by Singson,” a PCGG officer, who requested anonymity, said.

Insiders said the DOJ has sent National Bureau of Investigation agents Saturday, a night after Singson started sending around 40 security guards to the complex.

IRC guards said Singson reportedly told them, “If you want to live longer, get away from here.”

Sources said Singson allegedly continued to deploy security guards with long firearms up until Monday afternoon.

Tenants stop rent, pay Singson

IRC general manager Luis Quioque said Singson’s alleged moves to intimidate firms that have signed agreements with the IRC for the lease of portions of the Payanig land have so far caused these companies to refrain from paying rent.

Kartellex Trading Inc., which leased more than 4,000 square meters of the complex, asked IRC to put the agreement on hold, claiming Singson stopped them from conducting business there since late July.

Another group, Autobay, had reportedly started paying rent to Singson, in an apparent decision to recognize Singson as the owner of the Payanig sa Pasig land.

Quioque, in an interview with reporters, admitted being a little afraid of Singson himself.

PCGG chairman Andres Bautista, however, reiterated that the agency will protect the government’s ownership of the complex. He said a Supreme Court decision issued last Thursday declaring IRC as exempt from paying real estate taxes on the land since it was owned by the government was just another proof of IRC’s ownership of the property.

ANDRES BAUTISTA DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE GOOD GOVERNMENT GUARDS ILOCOS SUR GOV INDEPENDENT REALTY CORP IRC KARTELLEX TRADING INC PAYANIG SINGSON
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