HGC head: There’s no ‘midnight deal’
The president of state-owned Home Guaranty Corp., (HGC) on Thursday dismissed the allegation of Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice that he and HGC board members whose appointments were endorsed by Vice President Jejomar Binay were out to make money out of a deal to sell the Smokey Mountain properties.
“There is no midnight deal. There is no pabaon (sendoff gift). Those are figments of their very wild imagination,” HGC president Manuel Sanchez said in a phone interview.
Sanchez said Erice should have talked to HGC so he could have gotten his information right.
He said HGC’s bid to sell the Smokey Mountain properties was aboveboard and had been subjected to public bidding. Public notices for the tenders were made in three major newspapers for four weeks covering April and May this year.
He said a scheduled bidding on July 27 was stopped when informal settlers in Smokey Mountain secured a 60-day temporary restraining order from a Manila Regional Trial Court.
Sanchez said the HGC was “mandated to sell acquired assets to recover investments of [the] government” on the project that had been guaranteed when R-II Builders Inc. came up short of funds.
He said the offer of Reghis Romero II of P2.8 billion for the property was low because the government spent P6 billion on the project. But he said the actual claim of the government now stood at P9 billion.
Another problem in this case was who really owns the shares of R-II Builders, Sanchez added, referring to the feud over the ownership of the company, Harbor Center Port Terminal Inc., between Romero and his son Michael, who claims his father had sold 100 percent of the company to him.
“So how can (Reghis) settle if you don’t own anything?” he said.
“Hopefully, this property could be bid out so we can recover the government’s investments,” he said.
On allegations that HGC had sold Apec villas, Sanchez said the villas that were made for leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Conference were built and sold during the administration of President Fidel Ramos.
“(Erice) is shooting from the hip. He has no valid and verified information,” he said.
Sanchez said he and four members of the HGC board who were recommended by Binay and appointed by the President in 2010 still had no instructions whether they would be reappointed.
“We serve at the pleasure of the President. If he says we have to go, then we go,” Sanchez said.
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