Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Solons hit SBMA over sad plight of Taiwan investor

The sad plight of a rich Taiwanese family that lost its fortune investing in the Philippines drew mixed emotions from administration and opposition lawmakers who, in a congressional hearing last week, took turns in lambasting the way officials of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) treated them.

While several members of the Committee on Oversight revolted in anger for the shabby treatment SBMA officials gave the Taiwanese family, Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay, known as the Iron Lady of the Lower House, was reduced to tears as Jack Hu, vice president of the Universal International Group, gave one simple reason why they will still invest their money should they recover from near bankruptcy.

"It’s because my mother has come to love your country so much," Hu stated.

When asked why instead of being her usual feisty self, she cried at the height of the hearing, Magsaysay explained that the tears just came streaming from her eyes as she listened to Hu’s heart-rending story.

"Nakakaawa naman talaga iyong mag-ina. They came to invest when the Philippine economy was down, the least that we could offer them is swift and fair brand of justice," the lady solon said.

Hu and his mother, Susan, are fighting for their right to continue to operate the Subic Bay Golf and Country Club which the SBMA handed over last June to the South Korean firm, Hanafil Golf and Tour, Inc.

Represented by minor stockholder Benjamin John Defensor III, nephew of Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, Hanafil was offered a one-year free rent of the golf course that was developed in 1998 by the Hus, using the R1-billion proceeds of sale of the family’s remaining real estate properties in Taiwan.

Government will lose at least R16.4 million from the deal that was arranged by SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza.

During last week’s hearing, congressmen led by administration Rep. Elpidio Barzaga (Kampi, Cavite) and opposition Rep. Liwayway Chatto (LP, Camarines Norte), congressmen assailed Arreza’s decision to ignore pending court cases filed by the Hus to recover the golf course.

"These Taiwanese businessmen invested billions of pesos not only to earn but also to help our country’s economy. They do no deserve the arrogant treatment. We are sending a wrong message to other prospective investors," Barzaga said.

Last year, mother and son were allegedly driven out by heavily armed SBMA men from the Subic Bay Golf and Country Club for failing to pay rental arrears amounting to R10 million.

Makati City Rep. Teodoro Locsin Jr. disclosed that the SBMA tried to get rid of the Hus by informing the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation that they were no longer involved in any business in the Philippines.

This, despite the fact that Arreza and other SBMA executives were facing at least five civil and criminal cases filed by the Hus to recover the golf course.

It was an actual brush with death that prompted the Hus to leave Philippines. Late last year, the young Hu started receiving death threats and was nearly killed when heavily-armed masked men held him at gunpoint during a carnapping incident.

"We are broke now. We believe Filipino justice will help us recover even a few pesos of what we actually invested here," Hu said, explaining why he still returns to the Philippines. (Ben R. Rosario - Tempo)

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  • those taiwanese dont have a monopoly on business here in subic its either they shape up or ship out

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/24/2008 6:12 PM  

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    ISO 9000

    By Anonymous iso 9000, at 6/02/2011 11:02 PM  

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