By Rainier Allan Ronda Updated May 20, 2009 12:00 AM [ philstar.com ]
MANILA, Philippines - The head lawyer of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) said the Sandiganbayan has the final say who really owns the 18.4-hectare Payanig sa Pasig property, which is currently controlled by the government through a PCGG-sequestered realty firm.
PCGG legal department Jay Miguel shrugged off concerns about a contesting claim being asserted by Deputy National Security Adviser Luis “Chavit” Singson over the entire property, citing its supposed sale by the late Filipino-Chinese businessman Jose Yao Campos to a private firm, Blemp Commercial, for P91.5 million in October 1971.
Miguel said Blemp and Singson first have to file a claim at the Sandiganbayan.
“It will be the Sandiganbayan that will ultimately decide on the ownership issue of the property,” Miguel said.
The Sandiganbayan is currently hearing the case of the Ortigas family’s claim over the property, saying their sale of the property to the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos in 1969 was null and void since they were only forced to sell it to Marcos under duress and at a giveaway price.
Singson, in an earlier interview with The STAR, admitted that he and Blemp are trying to collect the rental payments from the firms that leased portions of the Payanig sa Pasig land from the PCGG-controlled Mid-Pasig Land Development Corp. and its mother company, the Independent Realty Corp., including the Pasig Printing Corp. where he has interests.
Singson said he and Blemp have the strongest claim to the property since they hold the original title to it, dismissing the title held by Mid-Pasig Land as merely a reconstituted one.
Singson said the late Campos, as the president and general manager of Mid Pasig Land, sold it to Estrellita Marinas and Benedicto Parchamento, officers of Blemp Commercial in 1971, more than 15 years before surrendering Mid-Pasig Land and IRC to the government in a compromise settlement in 1986.
Singson said Campos had failed to turn over the title of Mid-Pasig Land to the PCGG for the simple reason that he had already turned it over to Blemp when he sold it in 1971.
Campos said the assets he turned over to the PCGG were actually those of Marcos.