Court OKs gov’t petition to put $175M for Naia 3 in escrow | Inquirer News
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Court OKs gov’t petition to put $175M for Naia 3 in escrow

By: - Reporter / @MRamosINQ
/ 03:24 AM October 14, 2011

A Pasay City regional trial court has approved the petition of the government to put in escrow over $175 million (about P7.6 billion) as payment to a German contractor for the expropriation of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) Terminal 3.

Acting on a motion filed by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), Pasay City RTC Branch 117 Presiding Judge Eugenio de la Cruz granted the government’s offer of “just compensation” for the Philippine International Airport Terminals Co. (Piatco).

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In an 11-page omnibus order, Dela Cruz gave the government the full control of the airport terminal, which had been previously mothballed over legal issues involving Piatco and its Japanese partners Takenaka Corp. and Asahikosan Corp.

The court also allowed the OSG’s motion to deduct the more than P3 billion that Piatco had previously received from the government.

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“Upon payment of the plaintiffs of the said just compensation in an escrow account, this court recognizes the Republic of the Philippines’ right to exercise full rights of ownership over the (Naia 3) structures and facilities,” the judge said.

Sought for comment, Solicitor General Jose Anselmo Cadiz said the court’s decision was “a good development towards finally resolving this running case.”

“And finally, there is already no scintilla of doubt that the terminal facilities are fully owned by the government, as the court has upheld the OSG’s motion to deposit the full just compensation in an escrow account,” Cadiz said.

Dela Cruz directed Piatco officials to make available a clean deed transferring the ownership of the airport facility to the Philippine government before they could withdraw the money.

The judge also ordered Piatco to submit a warranty that the structures and facilities of Naia 3 were free from “all liens and encumbrances” and an undertaking assuming the sole responsibility for any claims from “third persons arising from or relating to the design or construction of any structure or facility” of the airport terminal.

The judge said the ruling was “without, however, prejudice to the amount which will finally be awarded to Piatco by the Court of Appeals” in connection with the claim suit filed by the Japanese contractors against Piatco.

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TAGS: Government, Judiciary, Naia 3, Piatco
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