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Nullified mortgage to cost P1B for coco farmers

A former board member and stockholder of the United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB) asked the Supreme Court (SC) to review its 2017 decision which nullified a mortgage with the bank of a development firm.

Jesus Arranza, chairman of the Federation of Philippine Industries and former president of the United Coconut Association of the Philippines, urged the High Court to set aside the ruling of its third division.

Unaddressed, he said, the ruling would cost UCPB about P1 billion in funds supposed to instead go to coco levy funds for the benefit of coconut farmers in the country.

In a letter to the SC, Arranza raised alleged “irregularities” in the resolution of the third division on the case involving the mortgage of Revere Realty and Development Corporation, owned by businessman Jose Go, with UCBP over properties in Lucena City belonging to a couple with whom he had a joint venture that fizzled out.

“While the government is now the owner of the majority of the outstanding shares of stocks of UCPB, which shares have been considered part of the so-called coco levy fund, it must be stressed that this Honorable Court had also directed that the same should be utilised for the benefit of the coconut farmers and the development of the coconut industry Whatever action the Supreme Court will take in this case will definitely impact on the coconut farmers and the coconut industry, in particular, and the government, in general,” Arranza said.

He said the third division might have violated the Court’s internal rules in resolving the case involving Lucena Grand Central Terminal Inc. (LGCTI), citing internal rules of SC, which require the writer of the decision to prepare the draft decision and send it to the other justices at least seven days before voting. (PNA)