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MANILA, Philippines - The Court of Appeals (CA) has denied a petition for review filed by William Gatchalian, the businessman once known as the "plastics king" and father of Valenzuela City Mayor Sherwin Gatchalian, in his bid to avoid foreclosure on a 1,808-square-meter vacant property at the corner of M.H. del Pilar and A. Mabini Streets and Quirino Avenue, Manila.
In a 14-page ruling written by Associate Justice Hakim Abdulwahid, the CA's Sixth Division dismissed for lack of merit the petition filed by Gatchalian assailing several orders of Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 32 Presiding Judge Thelma Bunyi-Medina denying his reliefs, thus paving the way for the Philippine National Bank (PNB) to take over the property.
Concurring with the ruling were Associate Justices Marlene Gonzales-Sison and Edwin Sorongon.
The case stemmed when the Plastic City Group of Companies owned by Gatchalian racked up over P500 million of bad debts.
Business tycoon Lucio Tan, who owns PNB, and Gatchalian, also a hotel magnate, are in a legal battle over the control of Plastic City.
In its ruling, the CA said that "the recovery of PNB's deficiency claim can only be allowed if there is a finding that the conduct of the foreclosure sale by the Ex-Officio Sheriff of the Manila RTC was proper."
In brief, the CA said that "the counterclaim it filed against petitioners being compulsory in nature, PNB is not required to pay docket fees."
Hence, the CA added that "public respondent (Judge Medina) was correct in denying the petitioners' motion for dismissal on the ground of non-payment of docket fees."