BECAUSE of alleged harassment by the local chief executive against the three big developers that bought a parcel of lot at the South Road Properties (SRP), SM Prime Holdings, one of the buyers, decided to cancel its plan to build a sports arena and a huge convention center as a counter part in its flagship mall, the Mall of Asia in Manila.
A source close to the top executives of the SM conglomerate, who requested anonymity as he is not authorized to speak in behalf of the company, said that Henry Sy’s siblings decided to cancel the multi-billion peso projects as a result of the harassment by the ‘former political has been’ against the company.
The “former political has been” filed a criminal case of deceit against officials of SM Prime Holdings, which operates the SM Seaside Mall at the SRP, before the City Prosecutor’s Office for under declaring the mall’s basement, pavement and its roof deck areas. Another case of under declaration of its annual income was filed against Banco De Oro (BDO) Magallanes Branch, a subsidiary of SM Prime Holdings.
The source said that Sy’s siblings, who are now directly involved in managing the conglomerate, were really hurt by the accusation of the “former political has been” that the company ‘cheated’ the government of its taxes.
“We are no longer talking here of business and revenues for the company but the honor, dignity and reputation of the owners,” the source said, adding that it is very impossible that the company will do an illegal act as it has a reputation to protect.
In fact, SM officials wanted to rescind the contract with City Hall but they cannot do it alone because it’s a joint venture with Ayala Land Inc. Ayala is mum on the issue despite the warning issued by the “former political has been” for non-renewal of the permit to its affiliates, the Bank of the Philippines Islands.
What is SM’s fault? It only responded to the game invitation of former mayor Michael Rama to participate in the bidding which the company viewed as transparent and above board, the source said. SM Prime Holdings’s patriarch, Henry Sy will not be successful in his businesses if he is not religious in paying his tax obligations.
The source said that if indeed there were “defects and minors violations,” these are not intentional and the company is willing to pay its obligations due to the government if proper assessment is made.