Mañosa heirs’ victims: P1 billion was investment, not loan
Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - December 15, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Victims of the fraud and syndicated estafa allegedly committed by the children of the late National Artist Francisco “Bobby” Mañosa have disputed claims by the latter that the hundreds of millions of pesos they invested for failed real estate projects were not loans.

 Marisol Ramirez, who is one of 26 prominent individuals, private suppliers, and government agencies seeking a reported total of a little over P1 billion from the Mañosa siblings, said she felt betrayed by what happened and was shocked by claims that what she invested was actually a loan.

“I think that’s (loan) is a total lie. It’s unbelievable he said that,” Ramirez told The STAR, referring to Francisco “Dino” Mañosa Jr.

She said she read reports that Dino was claiming that the P50 million she invested for a high-end residential Anahaw Park project in the posh Alabang Hills subdivision in Muntinlupa City was a loan that can be used for other ventures as he sees fit.

“I feel duped and even betrayed as our families were friends before,” Ramirez said, adding that Dino’s claim was apparently aimed at escaping liability, especially since he and his siblings a few months ago sought refuge in the courts by filing a petition for rehabilitation for being unable to pay their debts.

In a criminal complaint for syndicated estafa filed on Sept. 17, Ramirez alleged that Dino and Denise Mañosa, Angela Milagros Mañosa, Miguel Angelo Mañosa and Ma. Isabel Mañosa Tanjutco defrauded her of P50 million, which was supposed to be invested for the project in 2017.

Under the terms Dino promised Ramirez, her P50 million would either allow the purchase two houses in the project at a 15 percent discount or claim eight percent interest or a total of P58 million after two years, depending on which option she would take.

However, in late 2018, Ramirez heard rumors that the project was having difficulties meeting construction deadlines and paying suppliers and that Mañosa Properties Inc. (MPI), the company running the venture, was in a dispute with the Alabang Hills’ homeowners association. 

Last May, Ramirez alleged that Dino admitted in a meeting with herthat the project has not yet started, the firm could not pay up and the registered owners of the lots was a different company – Mañosa Farmstay Inc.

Ramirez said she found out the village association did not consent to the project and that MPI was not authorized to solicit investments under the Securities Regulation Code.

Athletics chief Philip Ella Juico, who is also demanding immediate payment from the siblings for a residential project in New Manila, Quezon City, earlier said he was worried that the Parañaque regional trial court ­– if it grants the petition – would not prioritize them in the repayment.

The MPI is asking the court to allow it 10 years to pay off its debts amounting to a little over P1 billion.

The STAR could not reach Dino for comment.    

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