Ombudsman urged to act on plunder case vs reclamation execs on 1988 deal
MANILA — A civil society group has pressed the Office of the Ombudsman to soon resolve the plunder and graft complaint it filed more than two years ago against former officials of the Public Estates Authority, now called the Philippine Reclamation Authority.
In a 14-page motion, the United Filipino Consumers and Commuters Inc., through its lead convener Rodolfo Javellana Jr., urged the Ombudsman to resolve its complaint dated Dec. 15, 2014, especially as the legal issues involved were “quite simple and uncomplicated.”
“It is not amiss to point out that this case has long been pending resolution… roughly about two and half years from the time it was filed,” Javellana said in his motion for early resolution. “This Honorable Office must therefore now resolve this case with dispatch.”
The case arose from the then-Public Estates Authority’s Aug. 23, 1988 sale of 410,467 square meters of reclaimed land to Manila Bay Development Corp. for P427.037 million.
Through the supplemental motion, UFCC said the deal violated Article XII, Section 3 of the 1987 Constitution, which has prohibited private corporations from holding alienable lands of public domain except through lease.
It argued that there was no formal declaration by the government that the reclaimed land was alienable or disposable, making the sale unconstitutional and illegal.
The 2014 complaint previously accused the PEA and MBDC officials of conspiring to shortchange the government in the sale of the still-undeveloped land now allegedly valued at P41 billion.
Respondents include then-incumbent PRA chairman Roberto Muldong, general manager Peter Anthony Abaya, and board members Virgilio Ambion, Manuel Medina, Edilberto de Jesus, Reynaldo Robles and Rene Enrique Silos, as well as PEA’s 1988 general manager Eduardo Zialcita and the unnamed chairman and board members at the time.
Private individuals including MBDC president George Chua and its board members were also named respondents. SFM
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