Ongpin, partner clash over marina club project
By Doris C. Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer
February 25, 2014 at 4:55 am

MANILA, Philippines—A squabble has erupted between the group of businessman Roberto V. Ongpin and the Wenceslao family, the partner of Ongpin-led Alphaland Corp. in its marina club project in Manila Bay.

In a statement issued on Monday, the Wenceslao group said the marina club shares that Ongpin’s group was selling to the public were not from the joint venture company that the two groups had put up.

Alphaland Bay City Corp., the joint venture between the Wenceslao Group and Ongpin’s Alphaland, was formed in 2007 to develop a 32-hectare block in Aseana City. This project, located between Mall of Asia and Solaire Casino, was supposed to be the first project of the joint venture.

The Wenceslao group said it had contributed 22 hectares to the joint venture, while Ongpin’s group through Alphaland Development Inc. (ADI) contributed 10 hectares.

“In effect, Ongpin’s selling company, Alphaland Marina, gets all the revenues and none will be remitted to the joint venture company, the owner of the marina rights,” the Wenceslao group said.

It alleged that ADI had “almost succeeded” in mortgaging last year for P3 billion the 10 hectares that the Ongpin group had given as equity to the joint venture unbeknownst to the Wenceslao Group. It said the mortgage had already been annotated on the titles and the bank was ready to release the funds.

“When the bank found out about the joint venture, it required Ongpin to ask the Wenceslao Group to sign the (loan deal). Wenceslao refused since the loan would benefit only Ongpin,” the group said. The Wenceslaos claimed that it was because of this refusal that Ongpin, through a letter written by Alphaland president Mario Oreta in February last year, had unilaterally voided the Wenceslaos participation in the project.

The Wenceslaos claimed that recently, buyers of marina shares were told that Alphaland was changing the concept of the marina project.

In a statement, Alphaland legal counsel Rodolfo Ponferrada said the Wenceslaos’ statement was “full of half-truths and lies.” He said the Marina Club was a 100-percent project of Alphaland, which agreed to make the Wenceslaos a 50-50 percent partner but noted that the offer was withdrawn when a loan application was “torpedoed” by the latter.

“To protect Alphaland’s 100 percent ownership of the Marina Club project, it sought and was granted injunctive relief by the Regional Trial Court of Makati City on June 5 last year against attempts of the Wenceslao  group to obstruct  the construction of the project,” Ponferrada said.

“Instead of being a 50-percent owner, the Wenceslao group has been acting (albeit illegally and without authority) as the full owner of Alphaland Bay, questioning the Marina Club project in various government agencies.”

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