‘The curse of the Yellows’

  • Written by Manuel L. Morato
  • Published in Opinion
  • Read: 518

We, the legitimate homeowners of Monterrazas Homeowners Association Incorporated (MHAI), were
surprised to see the column of Mr. Charlie O. Manalo of the Daily Tribune, November 30, 2017, entitled
“The curse of the Yellows.”

I must say that the report is accurate.  I would like to add, however, what the legitimate
board headed by Chairman Maribel Ongpin had gone through since that illegal takeover in September 3,
2016 by a breakaway group.  To this day, the case has not been resolved because of an HLURB
Commissioner Luis Paredes who favored his fraternity brod in the Alpha Phi Omega of U.P.  His brod is
a new homeowner in Monterrazas Village who led the takeover by only 16 homeowners out of over 150 to
be the chairman.  Sa fraternity pala, they defend each other maski mali.  I asked the help of former
Vice President Jojo Binay who is my compadre and this is what he said: “I will try to talk to him
Manoling, pero ka-brod ko kasi si Luis Paredes.”  Nothing happened.  HLURB was then under VP Binay and
he might have even appointed or chosen those commissioners, approved by the OP.
To make a long story short, Commissioner Luis Paredes’ fraternity brod, Dr. Gary Lasquite was
elected as MHAI Chairman of that breakaway group with only 16 homeowners some of whom are delinquents,
delinquents in the sense that they have not been paying their annual dues for years.  Sixteen
“homeowners” cannot constitute a quorum for to have a quorum with homeowners who are in good standing
are the only ones who can vote and can be voted upon in accordance with our By-Laws.
The MHAI is a corporation and registered with the SEC.  As such the corporate laws apply on
legitimate homeowners in good standing who cannot be deprived of their right to sign a proxy vote.  
That is a given.  It is also stated in the Magna Carta for Homeowners.  And it’s a universal law in
all countries, not only in the Philippines.  Commissioner Paredes of HLURB nullified all the proxies
kasi hindi raw stipulated sa By-Laws namin.  Please no kidding naman, Mr. Commissioner!
All of that was disregarded by the three HLURB commissioners appointed by then PNoy.  
Commissioner and CEO Antonio Bernardo inhibited himself and did not sign the decision of the three
commissioners which included Commissioner Luis Paredes.  It was indeed a questionable decision that we
appealed it to the HLURB Legal Services Group in their main office here in Quezon City for the HLURB-
Baguio’s Atty. Ligaya Haban et. al. were the instigators of the illegal takeover of a breakaway group
of only 16 homeowners who together with the local government of Itogon joined forces to allow the
trucks to use Monterrazas’ main avenue to go to the illegal open pit mining down below the Monterrazas
Village were so many diggers have died.

In Itogon its common knowledge that the diggers in the open pit mining have consistently been
dying in groups of two or three poor people who only want to make a living.

We have filed a case against Atty. Ligaya Liclican Haban et. al. in the Office of the
Ombudsman.  “Ligaya” really took us for a joy ride!
Briefly, the HLURB Legal Services ruled that the breakaway group committed a grave error as so
stated by HLURB Director Teresita Galacgac of Northern Luzon.  In a letter to the HLURB Legal Services
Group in the main office, she said that Atty. Ligaya Haban committed a grave error in allowing the
breakaway group of only 16 homeowners to have an election in the Albergo Hotel in Baguio City.  There
was no quorum to begin with; and according to our By-Laws, the Annual Meeting and Elections must be
held in Metro Manila were the majority of the homeowners reside.  Their houses in Baguio (including
mine) are considered vacation or summer houses only.  We do not reside there, neither are we
registered voters of Baguio.

Since the breakaway group took over, there is no longer order in the village.  Their group
dismissed three regular employees who filed a case against the breakaway “board” in the NLRC Baguio
and won the case with the help of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO).  The illegal board was fined
almost P800K for backwages and bonuses, separation pay for the three employees and immediate
reinstatement.  The decision of the NLRC-Baguio headed by Mr. Malcolm Bacuso has not been complied
with that the NLRC froze the PNB Baguio account of the “new” illegal board because of non payment to
the three regular employees as per decision of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) last May
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the illegal board, Dr. Gary Lasquite, the fraternity brod of
Commissioner Luis Paredes, resigned and does not want to have anything to do with the group that led
him into trouble.  I advice him to tell his fraternity brod in the HLURB that he, too, took you for a
joy ride!
As of now, the woman lawyer of the illegal board appealed to the HLURB Legal Services
Department.  Reading said reconsideration and appeal made me sick for that woman lawyer said all the
nasty lies against the legitimate board headed by Chairman Maribel Ongpin to further delay the case,
hoping for Commissioner Luis Paredes to stand by them again.  The case has been lingering in the HLURB
board of Commissioner for almost a year and a half.  

We are only seeking for justice for the Monterrazas Homeowners Association, Inc.  It’s for the
legitimate homeowners we are fighting for.
I am appealing to Malacañang to remove all the PNoy appointees in the HLURB for overstaying.  
Their five-year term had expired in 2016; and for not knowing what they are doing is also an important
issue.  It is a sensitive agency for housing for calamity victims is under the HLURB – nationwide.  
Mahirap magkamali ang mga commissioners diyan.
The PNoy appointees must be removed in all the departments and agencies under the OP for they
are the ones contributing to the destabilization of President Duterte’s administration by making the
Duterte supporters go through great difficulties to the point of disappointing them.  Many say parang
pareho pa pala ang takbo ng some departments and agencies ng gobyerno dahil hindi pa napapalitan ang
mga tauhan ng dating administration.  Those who believe in President Duterte are anathema to them.
I beg the Office of the President to replace the overstaying commissioners and replace them
even with the longtime insiders from the ranks with Civil Service eligibility no matter who they are
just to get rid of the Aquino appointees.  If Malacañang cannot find suitable replacements for the
time being, better gamble with those with civil service eligibilities who have been with the Agency
for a long time.  Make them the caretakers of the HLURB, an agency under the Office of the President
in an acting capacity, if Malacañang so wishes.
To the HLURB Commissioners: Follow the decision of your Legal Services Group who ruled that
the only solution to solve the check-mate status we are in is to immediately hold a new election.  
Period.  That’s a totally unbiased, fair and fast solution.  Are we going to wait for the HLURB
Commissioners to resign?  They have to be replaced immediately for destroying the Monterrazas Village
in Barangay Tuding, Itogon, Benguet.  I wonder how many more villages and subdivisions they have
screwed up?
We have done everything to appease everyone.  The HLURB Commissioners must understand that the
duly elected MHAI Board headed by Chairman Maribel Ongpin and her directors have the responsibility to
take care of the village as bestowed upon us by over one hundred homeowners in good standing.  We have
no choice but to protect their investment in the village they have chosen for over 40 years.  It’s a
duty we have to live up to.
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