Sale of Philippine property in Japan stopped indefinitely

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

MANILA -- The development of a property owned by the Philippines in Tokyo, Japan will not push through after the Court of Appeals issued an injunction in favor of the government.

This was a follow up to the 60-day temporary restraining order issued in October last year by the CA 14th Division, which acted against the writ of execution issued by the Pasay Regional Trial Court favorable to Masahiro Nagayama.

"Accordingly, let a writ of injunction issued effective immediately, enjoining the court a quo, its agents and all persons acting for and on its behalf, from implementing the assailed orders dated 17 February 2012 and 02 April 2012, as well as the writ of execution of 02 April 2012," the CA First Division said.

Nagayama is the lead partner and manager of Nagayama Taisei Corp. (NTC), which bagged the ¥1.7-billion deal in 2005 to construct a four-storey building on the Nampeidai property and pay the Philippine government an additional ¥480-million.

It also promised to allocate 22 percent of the 2,489-square meter lot for the use of the Philippine government under the 50-year lease agreement.

The agreement, however, was cancelled by the Department of Finance in June 2009 because NTC submitted fraudulent documents to gain eligibility in the bidding.

"In the absence of properly notarized documents proving the existence of the consortium between Nagayama Architects Co. Ltd. and Taisei Corp., there is no legal basis to award the project to the consortium. Therefore, the award of the project to NTC, a non-existing consortium, is null and void," Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera said then in a legal opinion.

Add to the fact is the legal tussle between Nagayama and lawyer Masaichi Tsuchiya over control of NTC.

Tsuchiya said he has the right to represent NTC in the deal because he was already recognized by the Philippine courts and even the Office of the President.

The CA, however, noted the non-existence of the service development agreement (SDA) that the government entered into with Tsuchiya.

Petitioners were Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto del Rosario, Philippine Ambassador to Japan Manuel Lopez and bids and awards committee chair for Nampeidai Property Development Project Carlo Carag.

It is still unclear if the property, which was part of Japan's World War II reparations, will be re-auctioned. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)

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