Paranaque City Hall issues statement regarding graft complaint; Maintains deal is lawful and advantageous to the city
From the Public Information Office of Paranaque City:
Contrary to the circulated news item on the alleged Ombudsman case filed against the officials of the City of Parañaque, the Compromise Agreement entered into by the City Government of Parañaque with D.M. Wenceslao & Associates, Inc., Wendel Holdings Co. Inc., Fabricom Manufacturing Corporation and Aseana Holdings Inc. (the “Wenceslao Group”) involving the latter’s tax obligations with the City is lawful and advantageous to the City of Parañaque.
Prior to the execution of the Compromise Agreement dated 12 November 2013 between the City and the Wenceslao Group, numerous cases, both civil and administrative, were pending before the different Courts.
To put an end to said cases, the parties thereto executed a Memorandum of Agreement on 13 October 2008, wherein the City was represented by then Mayor Florencio M. Bernabe Jr.
Under the MOA, the parties agreed to credit fifty percent (50%) of Php390,361,661.62 overpaid by the Wenceslao Group in their future real property tax liabilities or until the said 50%, or Php195,180,830.81, shall have been consumed and fully applied.
The parties further agreed that the Wenceslao Group shall avail of the tax holidays provided for in City Ordinance No. 07-11.
The MOA dated 13 October 2008 was approved by the Court of Appeals in a Decision dated 25 May 2011.
However, the City moved to reconsider said Decision on the ground that said MOA was not approved by the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Parañaque.
The City’s motion was denied by the Court of Appeals in its Resolution dated 23 August 2011.
The City elevated the Decision of the Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court.
During the pendency of the City’s appeal before the Supreme Court, the City, now represented by incumbent Mayor Edwin L. Olivarez, and the Wenceslao Group came up with a proposed amicable settlement which agreement was then submitted to the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Parañaque for approval.
On 07 November 2013, the Sangguniang Panlungsod approved the proposed Memorandum of Agreement through Resolution No. 13-076, and authorized City Mayor Edwin L. Olivarez to sign the same.
In obedience to said Resolution, the City Mayor signed the Compromise Agreement on 12 November 2013.
The Compromise Agreement has essentially the same terms and conditions with the MOA dated 13 October 2008 except that the parties agreed that the provisions of the MOA granting the Wenceslao Group tax holidays under Ordinance No. 07-11 should no longer be effective.
On 24 February 2014, the Supreme Court, in G.R. No. 198281 entitled “City of Parañaque vs Wendel Holdings Company, Inc. and D.M. Wenceslao and Associates, Inc., rendered a Resolution approving the Compromise Agreement dated 12 November 2013, where the Supreme Court in part said, thus: “The Compromise Agreement dated November 12, 2013 is hereby APPROVED.
Herein parties are ORDERED to strictly and faithfully comply with said Compromise Agreement. This case is deemed TERMINATED.”
In approving the Compromise Agreement, the Sangguniang Panlungsod, on whom the duty to levy and collect taxes to raise revenue is vested, determined that the same is advantageous to both parties as it would finally put an end to the numerous cases between them, and finally pave the way for the full utilization of the parcels of land owned by the Wenceslao Group as envisioned under Ordinance No. 07-11, and that the agreement is not contrary to law, public policy and good customs.
The subsequent approval of the Compromise Agreement by no less than the Supreme Court should put any question about its legality to rest.