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Manila to proceed with hotel auction

Thursday, September 11 2008 [ manilatimes.net ]

The Manila City government on Wednesday said the Court of Appeals ruled in its favor to auction the assets of the Grand Boulevard Hotel.

The city government tried to auction the properties of the hotel last year so the former can collect the real property taxes and arrears on tax payments Grand Boulevard owes to Manila.

City officials said the appellate court dismissed the civil case filed before a Las Piñas court against Manila by a stockholder of the Grand Boulevard Hotel, formerly known as Silahis International Hotel (SIH), for forum shopping. The appellate court also cited the hotel’s lawyer and stockholder for direct contempt of court.

Dominga Mojica, a stockholder of Grand Boulevard, along with her counsel and corporate secretary of the then Silahis Hotel, Dennis Manicad, obtained last year from the Las Pinas court a temporary restraining order that stopped the city government from proceeding with its scheduled auction of Grand Boulevard.

They filed the civil case in Las Pinas to stop the city government from auctioning the assets of the hotel.

The appellate court said Mojica “admitted knowing about the pendency of Civil Case No. 04-111180 on the matter of corporate rehabilitation suspension of payments of SIH initiated by SIH in the RTC [Regional Trial Court] of Manila.”

This, considering that another case was filed in Las Piñas, constituted forum shopping, the appellate court said.

City Legal Officer, lawyer Renato de la Cruz, said the hotel owes the city government P276 million in unpaid real estate taxes and penalties and surcharges from 2004 to present.

The city government also auctioned the delinquent properties of Hotel Sofitel and Pacific Hotel Corp. to a private developer last year.

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