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Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile has lost a key round in his battle against Urdaneta Village and developer Ayala Land to cancel the deed of restrictions on his three properties within the millionaires' village.
In rebuffing Enrile, the Court of Appeals also ruled that Makati Regional Trial Court Judge Dina Pestano Teves should have not tried the case filed by Enrile's holding company, Jaka Investments Corp., saying it was the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board that has jurisdiction over disputes between homeowners' association and members.
Appellate justices Juan Enriquez Jr., Marlene Gonzales-Sison and Danton Bueser granted the certiorari prayed for by Urdaneta and Ayala Land, noting that Jaka Investments had even sent its proxy and voted along with the majority of the Urdaneta residents to extend the deed of restrictions by another 25 years beginning June 1, 2008.
Jaka Investments cannot now raise the issue of lack of a special power of attorney of the proxy because it is not a requirement for proxy voting to have a special power of attorney, the Court of Appeals said in the decision, released last week.
The Enrile setback came amid a similar see-saw battle in Bel-Air, another Ayala-developed subdivision clustered around the Makati commercial business district.
The HLURB had earlier ruled that Bel-Air's deed of restrictions can be extended, only to be reversed by Malacanang on December 29, 2009, during the waning months of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's presidency.
But after PNoy came to power, the Office of the President on May 19, 2011, reversed the Arroyo-era order and reinstated the HLURB decision extending the Bel-Air deed of restrictions.
While Enrile's Jaka Investments admitted that the case with Urdaneta involved intra-corporate dispute, it still filed a petition against the Registry of Deeds before the Makati RTC "since what is being questioned is the cancellation of the annotation of the titles, not the validity of the restrictions."
Imposed by the Ayala Land predecessor Makati Development Corp. in 1958 for 50 years when it was developing a string of subdivisions on what were then rice and open fields, the deed of restrictions prohibit the construction of duplexes and multi-family dwellings and imposes height limits within Urdaneta, among other restrictions.
Taipan Lucio Tan has sold half of the 8,000-square-meter property at the corner of Buendia and Paseo de Roxas to his balae, fellow taipan George Ty of Metrobank, according to the market grapevine.
Ty, whose son Alfred is married to Tan daughter Cherry, acquired half of the vacant lot adjoining the Metrobank headquarters.
If the market grapevine is to be believed, Ty's listed Federal Land plans to build a mixed-use high-rise condo on the multi-billion property.
The corner property has remained undeveloped for decades after being tied up in a foreclosure case against the original buyer, the father - make that grandfather - of local rock-and-roll industry, Ramon "RJ" Jacinto.
It is not immediately clear what Tan intends to do with the remaining half, which still commands the strategic Buendia and Paseo de Roxas intersection.
Heard through the grapevine
The Malacanang resident pollster during the Arroyo presidency, Pedro "Junie" Laylo Jr., has resumed conducting private political surveys for port magnate Enrique Razon, just like he did in the run-up to the 2010 polls.
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