Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Monday, April 20, 2009

Top SBMA execs post bail on golf takeover case

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – A BATAAN court issued arrest warrants against four top Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority officials in connection with the agency’s takeover of Subic Bay Golf and Country Club (SBGCC) in 2007.

SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza, Chair Feliciano Salonga, senior deputy administrator Ramon Agregado ad deputy administrator Raul Marcelo already posted bail.

The arrest warrants, issued on April 4, stemmed from a case of grave coercion and trespassing filed by Susan Ho, president of Universal International Group Development Corp. (UIGDC), a Taiwanese fir that used to run the SBGCC.

“We’re confident the case [against Ho] will prosper as the [regional trial court in Olongapo City] has already affirmed the SBMA’s right to take over,” Arreza told the INQUIRER on Sunday.

In June 2007, UIGDC also filed a civil case for indirect contempt of court against the SBMA officials.

The state-owned agency terminated the company’s lease contract due to debts and other unfulfilled obligations.

In the indirect contempt case, SBGCC director Jack Ho said SBMA ignored the injunction issued by the Olongapo Court.

Jack Ho said SBMA officials and personnel used force in removing and barring him and club employees from entering the premises. SBMA officials denied the allegation.

Arreza said the SBMA had taken over the business operations of the golf course due to the “failure of UIGDC to fulfill its developmental obligations under [the] lease and development agreement (LDA) and due to its unpaid rentals and charges.”

By March 31, 2007, the agency said UIGDC’s unpaid accounts totaled $352,269.08 and P16.9 million.

--By: Tonette Orejas – Inquirer

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