MANILA — Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has ordered the Office of the Corporate Government Counsel (OGCC) to review the lease contract that Nayong Pilipino Foundation, Inc. (NPFI) had entered into with Landing Resorts Philippines Development Corp. (LRPDC).
Guevarra’s order came after President Rodrigo Duterte instructed the Department of Justice (DOJ) to review the contract, which the President has described as “flawed”.
“I have instructed the office of the government counsel, as statutory counsel of all Government-Owned and -Controlled Corporations (GOCC), under the direct supervision of the Department of Justice, to immediately review all the relevant facts and re-evaluate and examine all contracts, agreements, and other documents pertaining to this questioned transaction, including the legal opinions previously rendered by the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel to its client, Nayong Pilipino Foundation, Inc., and to submit a report with recommendations on the proper course of action for the government as soon as possible,” Guevarra said in a text message sent to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) late Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Duterte fired all members of the NPFI board and management due to a lease deal that the Chief Executive called “gravely disadvantageous” to the government.
Under the lease contract, the LRPDC, a subsidiary of Hong Kong’s Landing International Development Ltd., will reportedly develop a USD1.5-billion casino-resort in the NPFI property at Entertainment City in Parañaque City.
The groundbreaking ceremony was held on the same day that Duterte sacked the entire NPFI board and management.
On May 2, Maria Fema Duterte, a distant relative of the President, filed criminal and administrative complaints against her fellow NPFI board members, including chairperson Patricia Yvette Ocampo, before the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with Nayong Pilipino’s lease contract with LRPDC.
Maria Fema alleged that the amount of the contract was disadvantageous to the government which, she said, stands to lose PHP25 billion in 50 years.
She and the respondents are all presidential appointees.
The NPFI is a GOCC attached to the Department of Tourism. PNA-northboundasia.com