THE Court of Appeals (CA) has denied the plea of television giant ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation seeking the reversal of its decision, which denied the network’s claim to the estate of the late Marcos associate, Roberto Benedicto.
The CA affirmed its June 30, 2016 ruling, which upheld the order issued by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila, favoring the Benedictos.
The CA denied the motion for reconsideration filed by ABS-CBN, saying that the latter failed to raise new arguments that would warrant the reversal of its decision.
“Wherefore, the motion for reconsideration filed by ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation on July 27, 2016 is hereby denied. The Court is of the view that no compelling reasons have been established to warrant a reconsideration of the decision we promulgated on June 30, 2016, even after a thorough consideration of the matters raised in the said motion,” the resolution read.
ABS-CBN is seeking the recovery of P11,157,200 as “reasonable rental due” from Benedicto’s estate.
The network explained that the contract it executed with Radio Philippine Network (RPN)-9 was a product of “fraudulent inducement” that it would be fully-compensated pursuant to the terms of the lease agreement and of veiled threats on a possible government confiscation of ABS-CBN.
It argued that the trial court erred when it declared that ABS-CBN was not able to present evidence that would have established that Benedicto merely used RPN-9 as a cloak to justify the wrong and justify the fraud committed against the company.
ABS-CBN also denied the trial court’s findings that it failed to send a demand letter to RPN-9 about payment of rentals for its use of ABS-CBN’s studios, facilities and equipment from 1973 to 1980.
In denying its MR, the CA found “inaccurate” ABS-CBN’s contention that “constructive fraud” is enough to warrant the piercing of RPN-9’s corporate veil and hold Benedicto liable for unpaid rentals considering that RPN-9 was used as part of “a basically unfair device to achieve an inequitable result.”
The CA noted that ABS-CBN failed to present convincing proof, aside from self-serving and unsubstantiated testimonies, to impute bad faith and fraud on Benedicto.