By Zinnia B. Dela Peña Updated February 24, 2009 12:00 AM [ philstar.com ]
MANILA, Philippines - Asian Terminals Inc. (ATI) yesterday said it has secured a writ of prohibition from the Bataan Regional Trial Court, preventing the public auction of its properties in Mariveles, Bataan.
The writ also effectively enjoined Bataan’s provincial government from collecting the alleged delinquent real property taxes and penalties until the appeal on the notice of re-assessment issued by the Provincial Assessor is resolved with finality.
ATI’s appeal is still pending with the Local Board of Assessment Appeals.
The company’s properties were being sold due to alleged unpaid taxes.
ATI, however, has denied this, saying it has “religiously paid its taxes.”
In an earlier ruling, the Bataan RTC said the public auction was premature as it would violate ATI’s right to due process pending the verification of the assessments made on its properties.
ATI, which owns a 15-year contract to operate the Mariveles Grains Terminal up to 2013, manages port terminals nationwide with the Manila South Harbor as its flagship.
Earlier reports said Southeast Asia’s food and beverage conglomerate San Miguel Corp., together with Japanese firm Toyota Tsusho Corp. was planning to acquire the mariveles MGT from ATI for P1.6 billion.
ATI said proceeds from the sale of MGT would be used for the expansion and modernization of its operations at the South Harbor.
The MGT, which is considered the country’s most modern grain handling facility, has four unloaders or port equipment that can discharge wheat at an average rate of 10,000 metric tons a day. The unloaders can also discharge at least 10,000 MT of soya bean meal a day.