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Southwoods members suing Sobrepeña’s group

[ ] June 17, 2011

A reform group at the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club plans to take a legal action against the group of club chairman Bob Sobrepeña, who registered just one of his 44 validated proxies at last week’s annual members’ meeting to force a lack of quorum and remain in power.

The meeting was only seven shares or proxies short of a quorum.

The group, represented by Jimmy Gosiaco and Ernie Salazar, said in a statement they would seek redress from the Securities and Exchange Commission and file individual criminal cases against Sobrepeña and his allies in and out of the board.

To be sued with him are Edward Dy, president, who registered only 80 out of 127 proxies; Paco Gonzalez, 4 out of 108; and Manolo Agojo who was present but did not use any of his 25 validated proxies.

Other board members of his group simply did not attend the annual meeting. They were Rafael Perez de Tagle, with 64 proxies, and Alfredo Mendoza with 23.

Gosiaco said Sobrepeña would have lost finally his 19 years of board control had the election proceeded. The reform group to date has five to Sobrepeña’s six in the 11-man board.

Sobrepeña’s secretary said his boss was out of the country and could not be reached for comment when contacted by the Manila Standard.

Gosiaco said his group had a solid case against the Sobrepeña group, which it claimed manipulated the number of delinquent shares.

In its May 11 meeting, the board was informed that 213 shares were already delinquent and 404 additional shares were also to be declared the same. How this number went down to 132 on election day needs to be audited and “if fraud was committed, then those who cheated the members of a proper election will have to face the music—in jail most likely,” the group said.

Gosiaco said the Sobrepeña group must also account for cornered contracts and tax evasion, which he claimed was documented and “completely airtight.”

“Sobrepeña’s days are numbered. He and his group will have to account for a lot of things, including cornered contracts on security, golf carts, and golf course ground maintenance and many others,” they said.

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