Manila Harbour Centre files admin raps vs judge

Posted at 11/18/2012 6:29 PM | Updated as of 11/19/2012 7:23 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Reghis Romero-led R-II Builders and Manila Harbour Centre Development and Management Corp. (MHCDMC) has filed an administrative complaint against a Manila judge who transferred to a new management the control of the 79-hectare Manila Harbour Centre (MHC).

In a nine-page complaint filed last Thursday before the Supreme Court, the firms said Manila RTC Branch 24 Judge Lyhila Abella-Aquino rendered "an unjust interlocutory order or judgment” and is therefore allegedly guilty of “gross ignorance of the law, bad faith and gross impartiality in violation of the Code of Judicial Ethics and the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (RA 3019)."

A representative of the two firms, Crescencio Nombres Jr., alleged the judge was “biased.”

Aquino ordered the firms on August 3, 2010 to organize an association within one week to manage MHC. In case of failure to organize, the court ruled that the other locators, Philippine Foremost Milling Corp. and Aileen Ongkauko, are authorized to organize their own association to be named Manila Harbour Centre Industrial Park Association Inc. (MHCIPA).

R-II Builders sought to quash the order, saying an association has already been formed.

Aquino, on October 19, 2012, denied the motion to quash and directed RII Builders to "turn over immediately all common areas, utilities, facilities to the MHCIPA Inc. and/or to herein defendants together with the other business locators."

R-II Builders complained that this latest ruling went beyond the August 3, 2010 directive. “The questioned Order also conferred right to persons absolutely strangers to the instant case - other locators other than defendants. It is a settled rule that any adjudication of the case cannot grant or divest rights to persons not party to a case.”

Accompanied by 300 policemen, the state-owned Home Guaranty Corp. (HGC) took control of MHC on Thursday night.

"HGC's counsels were aided by (sheriffs). They stayed there until the night (claiming) they were waiting for an order to be issued by (Aquino). These alleged counsels of HGC do not have with them any authority from any of the defendants of the MHCIPA, they simply claim that they acted on behalf of the locators…,” Nombres added.

HGC is not even a party to the case, he added.