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QC prosecutor, Manila court rule Romero son true owner of HCPTI

/ 10:57 PM January 10, 2016
SECURITY guards block the Manila Harbour Centre gate. NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

SECURITY guards block the Manila Harbour Centre gate. NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

The Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office and a Manila regional trial court have granted ownership of the Harbour Centre Port Terminal Inc. (HCPTI) in Tondo,Manila, to Michael Romero, who has been in legal dispute with his father, businessman Reghis Romero, over the company.

In addition, the prosecutor’s office has recommended the filing of five counts of falsification of public documents and perjury against Jerome Canlas, who submitted papers where he claimed that he was the corporate secretary of HCPTI.

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The younger Romero lauded the decisions of the prosecutor’s office and the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 26 in ruling that his group is the legitimate and legal owner of the Harbour Centre Port Holdings Inc. (HCPHI), which is the majority owner of HCPTI.

“We are delighted that justice has been served in our favor,” the younger Romero said.

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He bought the port terminal shares from his father in 2011 when the elder Romero was having financial difficulties because of his faltering R-II Builders business.

The elder Romero sold his remaining shares in the port terminal to Michael in 2011 and signed two Deeds of Assigment, which were reflected and recorded in the financial statements and books of the elder Romero’s companies, R-II Builders and R-II Holdings.

Last December, the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office declared that “and since Harbour Holdings has not transferred its shares in HCPTI over to R-II Builders Inc. and R-II Holdings Inc., Harbour Holdings remains as a stockholder of HCPTI.”

The decision was based on the contradictory documents submitted by Canlas, who claimed he was the HCPTI corporate secretary.

Canlas was charged with falsification of public documents in a complaint filed by Edwin Jeremillo and Edwin Joseph Galvez, corporate officers of HCPTI.

The prosecutor’s resolution noted that Canlas made false “statements in the narration of facts statements in the Complaints-Affidavits, Secretary’s Certificate, and General Information Sheet of HCPTI, subject of the consolidated complaints.”

It said the HCPTI General Information Sheet filed by Canlas did not include the younger Romero’s Harbour Holdings as a stockholder despite that Canlas included the company in the General Information Sheets he filed for the years 2011, 2012 and 2013. He listed R-II Builders Inc. and R-II Holdings Inc. instead.

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The prosecutor declared that since Harbour Holdings has not transferred its shares in HCPTI over to R-II Builders Inc. and R-II Holdings Inc., Harbour Holdings remains as a stockholder of HCPTI.

“Now, were respondent Canlas’ statements as to the list of stockholders of HCPTI in the General Information Sheet untrue? Indeed, they were,” the resolution read.

The prosecutor said the resolution is consistent with the order issued in May 6, 2015 by the Manila RTC where it recognized HCPHI’s ownershi of 68.11 percent shareholdings in HCPTI.

Judge Silvino Pampilo Jr. presiding judge of Manila RTC Branch 26, ruled on May 6, 2015, that the younger Romero’s HCPHI remains as the majority stockholder of HCPTI and its board of directors including Romero may still exercise authority of the port terminal.

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TAGS: Harbour Centre Port Terminal Inc., Michael Romero, Reghis Romero
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