ESTRANGED couple Francis Rey and Catherine Cabuga apologized to the public and to their hotel guests who witnessed their “telenovela” on November 19 and 20.
They issued their apology in separate venues, with Francis Rey holding a press conference at Nature's Village in Talisay City Wednesday morning, November 21, and Catherine at Metro Inn in the afternoon.
Both were aided by their respective legal counsels with lawyer Jose Max Ortiz, representing Catherine; and lawyer Erfe del Castillo, representing Francis Rey.
Francis said nobody will win in this battle because they already acknowledged the conflict and differences that are already irreconcilable. He added that they need to work on the delineation of their conjugal properties and also the annulment of their marriage.
The couple has been living separately for almost five years. Their marital conflict also led to the birth of the string of cases filed by each party every time they argue and question each other’s action.
Catherine said she will exercise all means to protect what belongs to her because she started all the businesses that were enjoyed by their family, including the family of Francis.
“My husband is a seaman. He has no inclination in business. I was the one who taught him about business. But since our union failed, all our businesses suffered from all the cases that we filed against each other. I cannot rely anymore on the sound judgment of Francis because he is ill-advised and has allegedly been using something that has affected his mind and decisions,” she said.
She added she has been managing Metro Inn for six years with no disruption because “this is what we agreed before, that Metro Inn and Villa Iska will be mine, while the Metro Safari property in Alangilan, all the animals that we bought when we planned to open a zoo there, and the thousands of hectares of farmlands were under Francis. I have not even asked for an audit of the vast lands. But for them to forcibly enter the hotel on the guise of an audit is wrong.”
For his part, Francis said he really felt bad about what happened. Their purpose was to come there and do an inventory and audit of the hotel. But the response of the police was overkill and an overreaction.
Del Castillo said what they did was legal and aboveboard, citing a board resolution signed by Mushroom Realty Development Corp. board secretary Patchy Cabuga.
The hotel is not owned by the couple alone but by the corporation wherein his client, Francis Rey Cabuga, serves as the majority stockholder and president of the corporation.
She added that Catherine is only a minority stockholder.
But Catherine said that Francis served as the majority stockholder because of her, too.
“When we were still okay, I agreed that he will be the majority stockholder. We all know about dummies,” she said.
She said she is no longer open for negotiation and settlement despite her lawyer wanted them to settle their marital disputes to save the future and welfare of their businesses and their children.
Catherine really hated it because the huge trust fund of their children was withdrawn by Francis with the aid of his lawyer.
For Ortiz, he encouraged the other party to channel all their requests and needs to the court to ensure fairness and justice.
Senior Superintendent Francisco Ebreo, director of Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO), stressed there was no overkill in addressing the Metro Inn standoff on Tuesday, November 20.
Ebreo, in a statement, said the BCPO's action to the incident was a calibrated response and in consonance to the standard operating procedure in handing such crisis.
He added that the situation requires the deployment of such number of personnel in order to contain the situation and ensure that peace and order are maintained, safety and security of all individuals will not be endangered or compromised.
He pointed out that the majority of personnel deployed was for crowd control which is an standard operating procedure to ensure that the situation will be contained or resolved the soonest time possible and everything will be returned to normalcy.