MABALACAT CITY, Pampanga — Realty firm Westchester Realty Corporation (WRC) on Monday formally took over three housing projects previously owned by Globe Asiatique Realty Holdings Corp. (GARHC) in the province.
This was announced during simple turnover rites by WRC chair and former Oriental Mindoro Rep. Rodolfo Valencia, who won the bidding with the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund) amounting to PHP2.2 billion.
GARHC’s projects include Xevera in Mabalacat and Bacolor, and Sameera in Angeles City.
Valencia said Pag-IBIG Fund has given them 24 months to settle the PHP2.2 billion.
Aside from the amount, WRC has also allotted another PHP2 billion for the repair and rehabilitation of the facilities and houses.
Valencia said the WRC will infuse a total of PHP4.2 billion to bring back the old glory and redevelop the townships, which have been neglected for 10 years.
Last February 20, WRC signed the deed of conditional sale at the Pag-IBIG Fund office.
Valencia said WRC has six months to complete the rehabilitation of the housing development projects formerly owned by GARHC president Delfin Lee.
“Following the recent signing of the Deed of Conditional Sale between the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund) and our property development firm, Westchester Realty Corp, we took no time in working out the details for the smooth transition as we brace for the immediate rehabilitation of Xevera projects formerly owned by GARHC,” he said in a press conference during the turnover ceremony.
Valencia said after careful and thorough study, his realty company found that “all is not lost” in the housing projects intended to provide decent communities for thousands of Kapampangans.
“We share the current administration’s desire for the affected Pag-IBIG home members and borrowers — who all have been provided a decent community and houses to live in because of these projects — to finally and once and for all legalize their respective ownership not only by way of possession but most importantly, legitimize their right to home ownership,” he said.
“It helped that we were familiar with the projects, having been present at the inauguration of each of these projects around 10 years ago. Its former owners, namely, Globe Asiatique and its president Delfin Lee, were known to us as friends and fellow business practitioners in mass housing,” he added.
Valencia said he shares the same vision with Lee, which is to provide a model community to low-income earners and ordinary home borrowers.
“All of these developments could not be made possible without the cooperation and support of GARHC and its president,” he said.
WRC has committed the complete rehabilitation and transformation of the physical structures within the Xevera complexes.
“We will endeavor to work closely with Pag-IBIG as well as to coordinate with GARHC and all of the affected residents to ensure a smooth flow of documentation and other necessary processes,” he said.
Valencia, however, called on the homeowners to settle the processing and documentation of their accounts until Mar. 11, 2020 to protect their properties.
Pag-IBIG Fund has stopped receiving payments from homeowners of Xevera housing complexes since 2010.
This, after Lee was accused of using ghost borrowers for PHP6.6 billion worth of housing loans from Pag-IBIG Fund in 2009.
In 2014, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed syndicated estafa charges against Lee, who was indicted for allegedly defrauding the government of PHP6.6 billion in housing loan proceeds from the home buyers.
He was arrested on Mar. 6, 2014 by Philippine National Police (PNP) Task Force Tugis members at the lobby of the Hyatt Hotel in Manila by virtue of a warrant of arrest issued by the Pampanga Regional Trial Court Branch 42.
However, the Supreme Court voted to downgrade the charges against Lee from syndicated estafa to simple estafa on July 31, 2018. He was released on bail on Sept. 27, 2018.
Meanwhile, Lee, who also attended the turnover ceremony, has agreed in principle to lift lis pendens cases, with a written commitment from WRC to honor the rights of existing homeowners, including those that are already fully paid.
Lis pendens is an official notice to the public that a lawsuit involving a claim on a property has been filed, and means that a buyer of such property must assume any litigation that exists pertaining to it.
“While I am entrusting the Xevera projects to WRC, rest assured that GARHC will continue to monitor all developments to ensure the rights and security of all legitimate homeowners are kept in place,” Lee said. (PNA)