CA: Mediation to fix Smokey project row | Inquirer News
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CA: Mediation to fix Smokey project row

/ 03:26 AM October 30, 2013

The Court of Appeals has ordered mediation efforts to resolve the legal dispute involving the Smokey Mountain Development and Rehabilitation Project between R-II Builders Inc., owned by businessman Reghis Romero II, and the government through the Home Guaranty Corp. (HGC) and the National Housing Authority (NHA).

“[C]onsidering petitioner’s (R-II Builders’) motion to refer the case to mediation, stating that the parties are having out-of-court negotiation, the Court resolved to refer anew the case to the Philippine Mediation Center for mediation purposes,” according to the resolution signed by Justices Jose Reyes Jr., Mario Lopez and Socorro Inting of the CA’s 9th Division.

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The dispute between the HGC and NHA, on one hand, and R-II Builders, on the other, had spawned a series of cases filed by the government against Romero and his other firm, Harbour Centre Port Terminal Inc.

In 1993, R-II Builders and NHA signed a contract for the development of Smokey Mountain, a former dump site and slum area, in Tondo, Manila. HGC entered as a government guarantor of the financial component of the project. Romero’s group claimed that HGC reneged on its duty as a guarantor. But HGC alleged it was R-II builders that did not comply with all the conditions of the agreement.

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When the Quezon City Regional Trial Court dismissed the complaint filed by R-II, the firm elevated the case to the CA, which granted the pleading of Romero’s firm for mediation.

Another CA division earlier resolved the two other related cases involving R-II Builders and Harbour Centre, as well as the HGC.

One of the cases was a trial court’s order that turned over to HGC more than 285 million common shares of HCPTI and the appointment of a receiver. The second case involved the writ of preliminary attachment against the Romero camp, in connection with HGC’s P280-million claim that he and his firms allegedly failed to remit.—Jerome Aning

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TAGS: court, Court of Appeals, Government, Home Guaranty Corp., Mediation, National Housing Authority, Philippines, Reghis Romero II, Smokey mountain
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