Household Development Corp

Secret wealth? 5 top bets have undisclosed assets

Secret wealth? 5 top bets have undisclosed assets
by Karol Anne Ilagan and Malou Mangahas
PCIJ

THE PHILIPPINE PRESS, widely held to be the freest and most rambunctious in Southeast Asia, has no reason to boast and gloat as journalists across the globe observe World Press Freedom Day today.

Aside from the string of unsolved murders of journalists, spotty compliance and outright mockery of the law on the disclosure of statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) by the country’s justices, lawmakers and executive officials continue to hinder the people’s right to know – ironically this year’s theme in commemorating press freedom.

Public officials have observed the SALN law largely in the breach.

Since 2006, the Supreme Court has flatly refused to disclose the SALNs of justices and judges. This is despite a pleading for disclosure that the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) filed in October 2009 that had the high court creating a committee to study the issue and resolve the matter.

Last February, the committee headed by now retired Justice Minita Chico-Nazario recommended the creation on a Committee on Public Disclosure (CPD) to deal with requests for SALNs. The implementing guidelines for the CPD are supposedly being drafted and might be released before Chief Justice Reynato Puno retires on May 17.

If the Supreme Court justices are totally secretive about their SALNs, senators and congressmen file grudgingly, it seems.

These lawmakers, including the leading candidates for president and vice president, typically resort to material omission of data about all their business and financial interests, resulting in a virtual mockery of the SALN law.

Last April 30, the deadline for filing of the SALN for 2009 lapsed. The PCIJ obtained copies of the latest SALN of five of six senators running for president and vice president filed – the Liberal Party’s standard bearer Benigno C. Aquino III and his running mate Manuel Roxas II; the Nacionalista Party’s standard bearer Manuel B. Villar Jr. and his running mate Loren Legarda; and independent candidate for president Ma. Ana Consuelo ‘Jamby’ Madrigal.

No copy of the 2009 SALN of Bagumbayan Party candidate Richard Gordon was yet available as of 5 p.m. last April 30.

The filing of the SALN is a basic duty of all public officials, but most specially, of those serving in high office.

The essence of disclosing business interests and financial connections is to show information on other sources of income of a public servant aside from his salary from government. Theoretically, this would help explain an official’s lifestyle, in the case that he is able to live one that he could not have afforded though his salary alone.

Too, the SALN is a tracer and tracker. It serves as a check for public officials who might have an interest in a business that may be affected by his or her performance or functions in office.

To derive the list of business interests that the top candidates did not disclose, the PCIJ compared the candidates’ latest SALNs with their SALNs from prior years, and conducted a reverse-search on all their business and financial interests using the dabatase of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The PCIJ’s research does not reveal any other active business interests or financial connections that LP candidate Aquino had not disclosed in his SALNs until 2009.

Hidden or forgotten?

However, the PCIJ research also showed that five candidates for president had omitted or failed to disclose some of their business interests and financial connections in their SALNs. For instance:

  • Villar failed to report in his 2008 and 2009 SALNs at least three other corporations in which he or his spouse have business and financial interests. But the PCIJ has also compiled a list of 29 corporations in which Villar has associated interests based on SEC data, as well as the articles of incorporation, general information sheets and financial statements of the same corporations.
  • Madrigal is an officer and stockholder of at least five corporations that are not listed in the SALNs she filed from 2004 to 2007, and for 2009. One of these companies is Harmony Therapy Centre Corp. (formerly Glorious Buddha, Inc.), which engaged in trade and first registered with the SEC on April 26, 2002. The corporation’s 2004 and 2005 general information sheet or GIS indicate that Madrigal and her husband Eric Dudoignon Valade are both officers and shareholders of the company. Madrigal has subscribed P8,000 worth of shares and Valade, P10,000.

Harmony Therapy Centre’s most recent GIS available in the SEC online database are for the years 2004 and 2005. Madrigal’s 2004 and 2005 SALNs do not list the company as one of her business interests.

The Madrigal listed in the SEC documents of Harmony Therapy has the same address of Senator Madrigal in her SALNs: 145 10th St., New Manila, Quezon City.

Four other companies – Madrigal Pacific Carriers Corp., Pino Armadora Corp., Radiant Holdings, Inc., and Revelstoke Holdings, Inc. – list in their 2007 general information sheets that a “Maria Ana A.S. Madrigal” is an officer and has subscribed shares worth P9.36 million, P100, P2.9 million, and P123,300 in each of the companies, respectively. The Madrigal that has shares in these corporations has the same tax identification number of Senator Madrigal in her SALNs. These four companies are not entered in Madrigal’s 2007 SALN.

  • Gordon did not list one non-stock foundation in his 2000 SALN as a tourism secretary, and two other non-stock foundations in his 2006 SALN.

The first, Olongapo City Foundation, Inc., was not enrolled in the 2000 SALN that Gordon filed as jointly with his spouse, then Olongapo City Mayor Katherine Gordon. According to its 2000 GIS, Olongapo City Foundation was registered as a non-stock corporation registered on January 24, 1985, with Richard J. Gordon as non-stock member and Katherine H. Gordon as vice-president. The Katherine Gordon listed in the 2000 GIS of the Foundation has the same address of Richard Gordon in his SALNs – # 48 Gallagher St., East Tapinac, Olongapo City.

Gordon is also listed as an incorporator and trustee of Victories of the Revolution Foundation, Inc. and Philippine-India Parliamentarians Friendship Association Inc., which were registered with the SEC on September 6, 2006 and September 7, 2006, respectively. Both non-stock corporations are not listed in Gordon’s 2006 SALN, and include other lawmakers and politicians as incorporators and trustees.

Teodoros, too

A similar material omission of business interests that he and his wife own has been committed by former defense secretary Gilberto C. Teodoro Jr., administration Lakas-Kampi-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) standard bearer.

Teodoro’s wife, Tarlac Representative Monica Prieto-Teodoro, is listed as an incorporator and trustee of Golden Roosters Foundation, Inc. (formerly Golden Roasters Foundation, Inc.), a non-stock corporation registered with the SEC on May 15, 2008.

According to its articles of incorporation submitted to the SEC on August 29, 2008, the foundation aims “to engage in philanthropic, humanitarian, civic and charitable purposes, all for the welfare of the Filipino children… to empower children who are oppressed, neglected, abandoned, rejected, orphaned and abused.” The lawmaker has contributed P800,0000 to the capital of the association.

The Monica Prieto-Teodoro in the SEC documents of Golden Roosters has the same signature and TIN (Taxpayer’s Identification Number) with that of the Monica Prieto-Teodoro in her joint SALN with Gilbert in 2008.

A “Monica Louise P. Teodoro” of Legaspi Village, Makati City is also listed as an officer and stockholder of Ringwood Holdings, Inc., according to its 2001 general information sheet. Teodoro has subscribed shares worth P100 in this company.

The TIN of Monica Louise P. Teodoro here is 123-492-619 and does not match the TIN indicated in her SALN. But Marybeth L. de Leon, treasurer and stockholder of Ringwood Holdings lists 123-493-627 as her TIN. De Leon’s TIN is Monica’s TIN in her SALN.

Golden Roosters Foundation and Ringwood Holdings are not listed in at least the 2008 and 2001 joint SALNs of Gilbert and Monica Teodoro, respectively,

JC has 3 firms

Even a less-affluent candidate like Kapatiran Party’s John Carlos De los Reyes is in penalty of non-disclosure of his being an incoporator of one entity: the Solidarity and Common Good Movement of the Philippines, Inc., which filed its articles of incorporation with the SEC on January 4, 2008.

The corporation was registered with the Commission on January 7, 2008. No such entity is listed in de los Reyes’s 2008 SALN. Aside from this entity, De Los Reyes had admitted in GMA Network’s television segment Votebook that aired in early April 2010 that he owns two more business interests – a brick manufacturing business called Legobrick and a water refilling station called Water Plus.

Neither business appears in De los Reyes’s 2008 SALN, according to the Votebook episode.

Villar’s web of firms

As may be expected, Villar, the wealthiest of the nine candidates for president, has not disclosed the most number of business interests and financial connections.

The SALNs that he had filed from 2001 to 2009 are typically sparse and scarce with data that could fully explain his P1.04-billion net worth as of 2008, which slid just slightly to P947.8 million in 2009.

Records show that his spouse Las Piñas representative Cynthia A. Villar is listed as an officer and stockholder of Gourmet Garage Inc., a company registered with the SEC on June 10, 2002.

The congresswoman has subscribed shares worth P84,400 in Gourmet Garage, which is engaged in establishing, operating and maintaining restaurants, coffee shops, refreshment parlors, cocktail lounges, and catering, according to the company’s 2007 and 2008 GIS.

Gourmet Garage, Inc. is not listed in at least the 2007 and 2008 joint SALNs of Manny and Cynthia Villar.

The Villar couple listed only two companies – Fine Properties, Inc. and Adelfa Properties, Inc. – in their joint SALN for 2008.

SEC data also show that Manny and Cynthia Villar are listed as incorporators of Villar Foundation, according to the foundation’s 2009 GIS. Villar Foundation is not listed in at least the 2009 SALN of the couple.

In their 2009 SALN, the Villars listed four companies, including two that they had reported in prior-years’ SALNs but unloaded in their 2008 SALN.

The four companies enrolled in the 2009 SALN of the Villar couple are Fine Properties, Inc., M.B. Villar Co. Inc., Macys, Inc., and Mooncrest Property Development.

Adelfa Properties, Inc. is no longer listed in the 2009 SALN of the Villars.

A reverse-search analysis of SEC records, as well as copies of the pertinent articles of incorporation and general information sheets, show that at least 29 other firms appear to be related to the Villars directly or through their holding companies and other corporations in which they have equity interest.

For instance, both Fine Properties and Adelfa Properties are listed as major stockholders, with shares worth over P3 billion and P1.9 billion, respectively, in the Villars’s publicly-listed real estate holding firm, Vista Land and Lifescapes, Inc.

According to Vista Land’s 2009 GIS, Fine Properties owns 35.63 percent, and Adelfa Properties, 22.48 percent, of Vista Land’s total stocks. The Villars’s sons, Manuel Paolo and Mark, are both members of the board of directors of Vista Land and Lifescapes.

Which owns which?

An investment holdings company, Vista Land has four subsidiaries: Britanny Corp. Camella Homes, Inc. (formerly C & P Homes, Inc.), Crown Asia Properties, Inc., and Crown Communities Holdings, Inc.

From these four Vista Land subsidiaries, the companies in which the Villars appear to have direct or associated interests branch out like a multi-layered cobweb of corporate entities, yet withnearly all represented by the same corporate executives, officers, and lawyers that represent and run the big Villar entities.

Camella Homes, Inc. (formerly C & P Homes, Inc.), a real estate company, also has subsidiaries: Mandalay Resources, Inc. and Household Development Corp.

Fine Properties is a stockholder of Household Development Corp. with paid-up capital worth P4 million, according to Household Development Corp.’s 2009 GIS.

Crown Communities Holdings, Inc., which changed its name to Communities Philippines, Inc., has at least 13 subsidiaries, representing the multiple property-development projects across the Philippines of the Villar companies.

Communities Philippines now consists of 13 companies that have separately registered with the SEC, namely Communities Batangas, Inc., Communities Pangasinan, Inc., Communities Bulacan, Inc., Communities Naga, Inc., Communities Pampanga, Inc., Communities Iloilo, Inc., Communities Cebu, Inc., Communities Davao, Inc., Communities Tarlac, Inc., Communities General Santos City, Inc., Communities Negros Occidental, Inc., Communities Leyte, Inc., and Communities Isabela, Inc.

As for Adelfa Properties, Inc., one of its major stockholders, Althorp Holdings Inc., is a subsidiary of Cambridge Group, Inc.

Cambridge Group, in turn, lists four subsidiaries: Carissa Homes, Casa Regalia, San Marino Homes, and Towns and Villas, Inc., according to its 2009 GIS.

Adelfa is also listed as a major stockholder in Polar Property Holdings Corp. According to the 2009 GIS of Polar Property Holdings, Adelfa has subscribed shares worth P2.57 billion, owning 53 percent of the company’s total stocks.

Polar Property Holdings, meanwhile, controls Polar Mines Realty Ventures, Inc., another real estate entity of the Villars.

Cross-sale deal

On October 29, 2009, Vista Land in a disclosure notice to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) said that it had entered into an agreement with Polar Property Holdings “for the sale and conveyance of Polar Property in favor of VLL of its shares and subscription to shares of Polar Mines Realty Ventures, Inc.” representing total amount of P702.65 million.

In exchange for the shares and receivables of Polar Realty, Vista Land transferred to Polar Property 320,686,000 shares of Vista Land to Polar Property by way of a cross-sale through the PSE.

The shares-swap increased Polar Property’s interests in Vista Land from 5.35 percent to 9.11 percent, even as Polar Property and Vista Land acknowledged in the disclosure notice that they have common directors (including Manuel Paolo Villar) and a common significant shareholder, Adelfa Properties, Inc.

This multi-layered corporate structure is at best complicated to both untrained eye and even regulators.

Controlling interest?

The set-up may allow for indirect relationship of shareholders and companies, according to Ferdinand Sales, assistant director of the SEC’s Corporate and Partnership Registration Division.

Sales explains that if Stockholder A is one of the stockholders of Corporation A, and Corporation A is stockholder in Corporation X, when Corporation X declares dividends, this will definitely accrue to Corporation A and will constitute part of the retained earnings of Corporation A.

“(W)hen Corporation A declares a dividend, then that will be the time that it will accrue to Incorporator A. But, definitely, Corporation X cannot declare a dividend directly to Stockholder A of Corporation A unless Stockholder A is also stockholder in Corporation X,” he says.

Professor Rafael Rodriguez, former dean of the University of the Philippines College of Business Administration, affirms Sales’s explanation as correct. But Rodriguez says the size and degree of control of the shareholders in both companies are also critical pegs of analysis.

“If I’m just an ordinary owner, a small owner of A and A owns X, normally I won’t have control of X,” he says. “But this changes, of course, if I have very large interest – in fact, if I own Corporation A completely, and Corporation A owns a major share of Corporation X. “

In the professor’s view, bigness of interests may also command degree of control in companies, no matter how multi-layered the set-up is. “I can dictate as, let’s say, president of Corporation A: ‘Here’s what you do, this and that’,” he explains. “So there are separate things.”

A corporation is, of course, governed by a board of directors, and the members of the board are elected by shareholders in proportion to their stockholdings.

Says Rodriguez: “If you have just one stock share, you have just one vote. That’s why the small stockholders are unable to elect directors.”

The picture changes for big shareholders who can command enough clout to elect some or all the company directors, he says.

Failure of candidates

“For example,” says Rodriguez, “the corporation has nine directors. Those nine directors will elect the president, the chairman of the board…If you own the corporation, all of those nine are yours, they’re all your people. So you’ll say, ‘We will vote this person for president. If you don’t do as I say, I can have you thrown out and replaced.’ So you control all those nine.”

In more realistic cases, Rodriguez says, “it’s enough that you control 60 percent of the corporation because out of the nine, you need five. When voting time comes, when four want this person as president but I want you for the post, well, I have five votes and they’re just four so I win even though I don’t own the entire corporation.”

The failure of the candidates to disclose the foundations in which they are stockholders or officers is a breach of the SALN law, according to Arpee Jao, special investigator IV of the Civil Service Commission’s legal affairs office. The law specifies, in fact, that foundations should be disclosed in the SALN.

But Jao says that the disclosure of associated business interests is not strictly prescribed in the law. She adds that there is no need for an official to declare another firm in which the company directly related to him or her has stocks in.

“What it just required is for you as an official or employee of government to disclose where you are putting your money, where you are earning,” she says. “(If) you have invested your money for a certain number of stocks to Corporation A, so it is Corporation A which will be giving you in return, dividends or earnings based on your shares, ‘di ba? So it is with Corporation A that you have your financial connection, because it is with Corporation A that you have directly invested and not with Corporation X.” – With additional research by JC Cordon, PCIJ, May 2010

How Villar built business empire with deceit, corruption: ex-lawyer

How Villar built business empire with deceit, corruption: ex-lawyer
By Aries Rufo
abs-cbnNEWS.com/Newsbreak

First of 3 Parts

MANILA, Philippines – Octogenarian Maxima Policarpio had spent most of her life in the mountains of Norzagaray, a small town in Bulacan, near the foothills of the Sierra Madre. She had hoped to spend the twilight of her life there in peace and quiet, tending a tiny vegetable garden and surrounded by fruit-bearing trees she had planted many years ago.

Related Stories:

PART 2 of 3: Villar firm faked titles through ‘layering’: ex-lawyer
SIDEBAR: The man who turned his back on Villar
PROFILE: The man who turned his back on Villar
INTERACTIVE GRAPHIC: How Villar company obtained titles to contested land
SIDEBAR: Imus Estate land key to Villar-Ayala deal

Last February, despite her age, she left the comfort of her town and braved Quezon City’s noise, pollution and confusion to join dozens of Norzagaray farmers seeking attention to the imminent loss of their ancestral lands. “I am here to protect my land. I may be old, but I still have rights.”

“We are up against an influential person,” she said.

That person is presidential aspirant and billionaire Senator Manuel Villar Jr.

Represented by a counsel, the farmers detailed how they lost their ancestral lands, in the blink of an eye, to companies connected with Villar.

They also told of harassment efforts to force them to leave their lands.

“Before, we would wake up and see all those crops pulled out from the soil. They would do it at night. We were helpless. Some of them were armed. What would you do? We would just put back the plants,” Inocencia Pascual, 67, said.

The harassment, however, stopped as the election season neared. And they knew it is only a respite. “Tapos kami pag nanalo sya (We’re finished if he wins),” Pascual said.

Contested land

Court records show that the contested land in Norzagaray is supposedly now the property of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas after it was mortgaged in 2001 by two companies where Villar’s wife, Las Piñas Rep. Cynthia Villar, has a stake.

The two companies–Capitol Development Bank (now Optimum Development Bank) and Manila Brickworks–defaulted on a P1.5 billion loan it secured from BSP in April 1998 following the financial crisis that hit Asian countries. The money was allegedly spent to finance the House Speakership bid that year of Villar, who was then a congressman.

Yet, documents gathered by Newsbreak show that the two companies acquired possession of the ancestral lands through fraud and manipulative layering scheme.

It appears that the Villars brought to life the defunct Manila Brickworks out of nowhere to act as the original owner of the contested land. Fake Transfer Certificates of Titles (TCTs) were produced in connivance with the Malolos Registry of Deeds to show possession of property.

Court records in Bulacan show that Manila Brickworks was originally owned by Puyat Enterprises and had claimed possession of the property in the 70s. Poultry houses were put up by Puyat Enterprises but abandoned the area after some time.

After years of inactivity, Manila Brickworks resurfaced in 1998 with new incorporators that interlocked with those of Capitol Development Bank.

Capitol Bank, which had financial problems attributed to the financial crisis, eventually sold select assets to Yuchengco-led RCBC Savings Bank to pay off some obligations, then was renamed  Optimum Development Bank. (Initially, we reported that Capitol Bank was closed. It was not. – Eds)

In June 2001, Optimum signed a deed of real estate mortgage over the questioned property in favor of BSP to secure Capitol and Manila Brickworks’ unpaid loans.

The conveyance of land titles, coupled with fake ones, from one alleged owner to another, creates different layers that were used as an argument to legitimize property acquisition.

This has been the standard operating procedure of Villar’s lawyers and companies to acquire government and previously awarded lands, according to a lawyer formerly employed by the Nacionalista Party bet.

Pandora’s box of testimony

The man who turned his back on Villar

Lawyer Restituto Mendoza is seeking restitution for his sins of commission and omission as a former employee of Senator Manuel Villar Jr’s. housing empire.

Mendoza has filed a labor complaint before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) for his alleged illegal dismissal after refusing the game that Villar’s senior officers play.

In his complaint, he wrote that he turned a blind eye and deaf ears to the mischief that his employers were getting into and how they get out of trouble. But an unexpected twist of events made him see the light.

He is waging a lonely battle against the billionaire and his senior officers.

His labor complaint is also a tell-all account on how the businesses of Villar acquired land for property development. Read more

The Norzagaray land case is just one of the many legal cases faced by Villar’s real estate empire, which was spawned by the production and sale of affordable houses.

Interviews with different sources and documents show his companies have been fending off legal disputes, mostly land grabbing cases, like the Norzagaray case.

In 2004, Villar hired Atty. Restituto Mendoza to handle problematic raw land cases for Household Development Corp., one of the firms under his real estate empire.

Mendoza has a pending complaint before the National Labor Relations Commission for illegal dismissal. Named respondents were Villar, his flagship real estate firm Vista Land and Lifescapes Inc., Casa Regalia, Adelfa Properties and lawyers and officers of the companies. Newsbreak obtained a copy of the complaint, including other documents.

In the labor case, Mendoza opened the Pandora’s box of irregularities of Villar’s businesses, practices and ethics. It was a tell-all testimony, bordering on violating the lawyer-client privilege, as he accused Villar of bribery, corruption, deceit and fraud in rebuilding his empire from bankruptcy.

Mendoza charged Villar on the ground that he is well aware of the practices of the firms’ senior officers—from paying off government officials and judges to faking titles—to skirt potential legal issues. Mendoza said Villar is a hands-on manager, supposedly even concerned about where to put trash cans in the subdivision projects.

Newsbreak sought to corroborate Mendoza’s serious allegations, which included duping another land developer, Ayala Land, and an alleged attempt to bribe Customs officials to release an undervalued crane imported by his company, MGS Corp. (Details in Part 3 of the series, to be published on April 14.) We found some corroborative documents and information to back up Mendoza’s claims.

Ayala Land, which got questionable titles as in exchange for a previous P300 million loan from a Villar firm, has yet to reply to our query as of this posting. (Read: Imus Estate land key to Villar-Ayala deal)

Customs officials, on the other hand, provided data of the botched importation. (Details in Part 3)

Violation of lawyer-client relationship

Villar’s chief legal officer, Ma. Nalen Rosero-Galang, who has been countering the land grabbing complaints hurled against Villar since the campaign began, dismissed Mendoza’s stories and narration as “all lies.” In an interview with Newsbreak, Galang said she is “shocked of Mendoza’s allegations.”

Galang pointed out that Mendoza took five years to come out and expose the unethical practices of Villar’s businesses.

“I would have wanted to ignore him so as not to dignify his claims,” Galang said in an interview. Besides, she added that Mendoza’s claims would not have been admissible in court since “it violates the lawyer-client relationship.”

“Actually I pity him, since no one would want to hire him as a lawyer after this,” she added.

We also sought to interview Mendoza, but he begged off, saying his complaint would suffice. Mendoza was dismissed in May last year and filed his complaint in August.

The C-5 controversy

In his complaint, Mendoza mentioned some of the properties that benefitted from the controversial C5 road extenstion project. The road traversed through 50-52 hectares of Villar’s property holdings.

Villar’s peers in the Senate conducted ethics committee hearings. In a report, the senators found Villar guilty of conflict of interest when he supposedly benefited from the P6.96 billion road project. A public works feasibility study stated that Villar conceived and funded the project.

Mendoza provided the context in the arrangement between two real estate properties associated with Villar. Masaito Development Corp and Adelfa Properties supposedly swapped properties affected by the C5 road extension.

Based on documents submitted by Mendoza to the NLRC, it was Villar’s Adelfa Properties that initiated the arrangement with Masaito. Adelfa then claimed the bulk of expropriation proceeds from the Masaito property.

The agreement stated Masaito would only get only P7 million while Adelfa would get the remainder, amounting to P15 million.

A total of P168.1 million was paid by the government for the right of way involving Villar’s properties while only P22 million for non-Villar properties.

And yet, based on Mendoza’s claims on the Masaito agreement, through careful planning and foresight, Villar even got proceeds from his supposed non-properties.

Why would Masaito agree to swap properties with Adelfa if it would be paid for the right of way anyway? Was government informed about the swap or was there an attempt to cloak it through internal arrangement?

Internal arrangement

A source familiar with the case said that Villar’s senior officers had anticipated the road extension would pass through the Masaito properties. The properties were raw lands at that time and would have commanded low zonal valuation.

Yet, through connections in the DPWH and the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the Masaito property was valued at P30,000 per square meter, a “unique” situation that Adriano told the Senate since it was the only property that commanded that high price.

In the Senate probe, former revenue district officer Carmelita Bacod admitted that the valuation was “grossly disadvantageous to the government.”

The source explained that Masaito knew it would only get a lower zonal valuation and thus, lower payment for its properties, if only government would have its way. Entering into an agreement would be a win-win situation for both Adelfa and Masaito—the former gets a portion of the right of way payment without essentially losing with its property while the latter gets the bulk of the proceeds.

To facilitate the agreement, Masaito and Adelfa signed a memorandum of undertaking (MOU) where they agreed to open a joint bank account at the Landbank where expropriation proceeds would be deposited. Adelfa president Jerry Navarette and Masaito president Joseph Wang would be the joint signatories.

After the first tranche of P22 million has been deposited, of which P7 million would given to Masaito, Adelfa would assume “sole right” of the remainder of the proceeds, the MOU stated. Navarrete would then be the sole signatory of the Landbank account.

Mendoza said it was the C5 controversy that shattered his respect of Villar. He recalled that he was the one who drafted the Masaito agreement upon hearing Senator Jamby Madrigal mentioning the company. “Evidently, Senator Villar was not telling the truth when he had been consistently denying in public that he and his companies never received a single centavo from the C-5 road extension project,” Mendoza said.

In drafting the Masaito-Adelfa agreement, Mendoza said he “unknowingly had been an instrument of corruption in what is now the C5 road scandal.”

In his Feb. 2 speech before the Senate to rebut the ethics, Villar maintained that he did not financially benefit from the C5 project. “Wala po akong ninakaw sa kaban ng bayan. Wala po akong kasalanan, wala pong anomalya sa C5 project at hindi po ako nakinabang,” Villar said. – With reports and additional research from Althea Teves and Purple Romero, abs-cbnnews.com/Newsbreak