Atty. Sonny Pulgar’s Blog & personal website.

Intervention Granted

Nov 12, 2004Articles0 comments

This is a postcript to the power plant realty tax dodgers in quezon province. i just want you to know that the motion for intervention which we at the sentro ng agapay legal sa quezon have filed before the mauban, quezon rtc was finally admitted over the furious objection of the quezon officials and quezon power ltd.

From the files of the sec, we submitted before the court (for admission by qpl) its financial statements from 1998-2001 which interestingly were prepared by no less than sycip gorres & velayo reputed to be a hereabouts subsidiary of Anderson and associates the auditor of Enron. in the face of auditing scandals, i.e., bloated valuation of assets and earnings, qpl apparently is along the same drift of conning its investors (and the assesssor of mauban, quezon) by presenting a supposed to be under oath appraisal by its auditors of its generating assets (including lands plus lumping altogether the costs of money and interest payments, since according to the comptroller of qpl its unfair if the interests charged by the lender-banks be excluded)in the total amount of php 38,947,985,634.00.

Armed with this figure, we submitted it to the rtc by way of admission as a mode of discovery (we avail ourselves of discovery procedure to rush up the proceedings). the reason why we present the sgv’s valuation is to assist the court in arriving at the correct assessment figure. with that amount it’s easier to apply the assessment level of 80% for industrial properties and machineries owned by qpl. To determine the realty tax is just a simple arithmetic of getting the product of sgv’s numbers before the sec times 80% assessment level times 2% annual realty tax. qpl however fiercely shot down the audited amount (while at the same time deducted from their gross sales an item for depreciation, hence, they had an available cash of php500M in the year 2000) as allegedly immaterial in the determination of the exact value of the fixed assets claiming what it has got to do in the assessment. in other words, sgv’s job of filing a balance sheet reflective of the assets and liability of the filer has nothing to do with the issue of exactly how much the land and generators are when sgv acting as an agent of the taxpayer has already unfurled the data. are they saying that what is good for covantaenergy’s (qpl’s US-based owner (the former ogden)) investors is none of the business of the host quezon province in fixing the realty tax? we don’t attribute the smell of fish here due to the dying marine life in mauban.

qpl, no thanks to its coterie of faceless solicitors, has been dumping heaps of pleadings before the local court (in justification of their fees) not on the demerits of the intervention but this time maligning the presiding judge for admitting the intervention and the person of the intervenor. they forgot that in an admission (albeit administrative) anywhere especially with the sec, it can be used against them, and no further proof is required.

incidentally, and this is interesting, covantaenergy (qpl’s owner) has filed bankruptcy before the new york courts under chapter 11 of the US bankruptcy law. quezon province it seems holds a bayong punctured in all places.

kawawa naman kami dito sa quezon, na-teope na, tinatarantado pa. thus, we welcome the congressional inquiry before the house of representatives filed by cong. rafael nantes to see what indeed the real score is and work on the probable revisions of the local government code insofar as realty tax collection is concerned, and hopefully, determine whether some local officials headed by the sitting governor are indictable for breach of the anti-graft law for causing undue prejudice to the province for just doing nothing while perched up there and enjoying the view. you will notice the deafening silence from their side since this item gained notoriety as early as may 30, 2002.



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