Butuan trader files robbery raps vs. Robinson's Lance Y. Gokongwei, 22 others

by Ben Serrano

     January 19, 2011

            BUTUAN CITY - For allegedly used of force upon things, intimidation of persons and taking over of contested property without valid court order, a local businessman here filed this morning before Butuan City Prosecutors’ Office charges of robbery against Lance Gokongwei, President and Chief Operating Officer of JG Summit Inc., James Go, Deputy Chief Executive of Robinson’s Land, former Butuan City Councilor Salvador “Benjie” Calo, Eduardo Iran and 19 other John does

            The Office of the City Prosecutor officially received the six pages affidavit complaint with attached sworn affidavits of the eyewitnesses before noon this morning and numbered it as NPS or National Prosecution Service Docket No. XIII-0I-MUV-11A-00243 dated January 19, 2011.

            In his six pages affidavit complaint, Engr. Sergio Pascual who described himself as Triple “AAA” contractor and businessmen and puts his residential address as Km. 2, Doongan, Butuan City had accused and hereby charged Lance Y. Gokongwei, President and Chief Operating Officer of JG Summit Holdings, Inc. James Go, Chief Executive Officer of Robinson’s Land Corporation, former Butuan City Councilor Salvador “Benjie” Calo, Eduardo Iran of 3rd Alert Security Agency and 19 other John Does believed to be armed security personnel of Robbery with Intimidation of Persons and by the used of Forced Upon Things through their express command, directive and authority upon their agents and operatives with intent to gain, unlawfully, maliciously allegedly took possession of heavy equipment belonging allegedly to Pascual at a restricted area located at J..C. Aquino Avenue, Butuan City around midnight of January 14, 2011. 

            Pascual alleged that around midnight or wee hours of January 14, 2011, mentioned respondents, through their agents and operatives without color of law and lawful court order attacked and took custody restricted property where personal properties of complainant Pascual were situated.

            Pascual complained that said restricted land property is one of the parcels of land Pascual owned with Title No. TCT RT34202 now denominated as TCT RT. 42190 after it was foreclosed by a bank.

            Pascual filed a case against the bank, First Consolidated Bank of Bohol Inc. (FCB) before Butuan City Regional Trial Court IV last June 3, 2005 by which until now no resolution had been made or come out from said court yet. 

            Pascual claimed he filed in same Regional Trial Court Branch 1V under RTC Judge Godofredo Abul Notice of Les Pendens for FCB not to take any steps or course of action to sale or caused of transfer of property in questioned. 

            Pascual alleged that he filed cases against FCB for alleged “usury” or too much interest rates, fees and charges and included in his loan payment three loan charges or penalties which were not allegedly included in the original loan agreement he signed with FCB. 

Pascual alleged he asked FCB why he was charged that much and asked auditing, payment and other records but allegedly FCB failed to do so.

            The Butuan City Regional Trial Court Branch 1V office confirmed Pascual vs. FCB cases were still pending and still under court litigation in said branch. 

            Pascual claimed his construction firm’s heavy equipment worth millions of pesos, Mindanao Cavaliers security agency office and a Protestant Missionary House of Worship were among those located or placed in the land under court litigation covering an area of 1.1 hectares or 11,190 square meters in prime commercial location. Pascual also installed security personnel in the area to guard his heavy equipment. 

            Pascual claimed he bought said land from Philippine National Bank as a foreclosed property owned by Calo family sometime in 1993. 

            Pascual in his affidavit complaint claimed he later knew that the adjacent commercial lots owned by the Calo Family specifically former late Agusan del Norte Governor Consuelo “Choling” Calo and late former Butuan City Mayor Salvador Calo, Sr now relegated to their six surviving children heirs, one of which was former Butuan City Councilor Salvador “Benjie” Calo, III sold the more than 2 hectares of the Calo property to Robinsons Land estimated to worth more or less P200-M at P10,000 per square meter. 

            Pascual was also informed that the land in questioned was also sold by FCB Bank to Robinsons despite pending court litigation. 

            Pascual alleged that he later learned that another court, the Butuan City RTC Branch V which is under RTC Judge Augustus Calo ordered lifting of the Notice of Les Pendens filed by Pascual in another RTC Branch thus FCB was able to sell it to Robinsons Lands Inc. which is owned by the Gokongweis. 

            On the wee hours of January 14, according to the complaint of Pascual substantiated by affidavits of witnesses, claimed that some 20 security guards arrived in the land property in questioned.

            The armed guards headed by Eduardo Iran, according to complaint affidavits, ordered security guards of Pascual to vacate the area while some of the security guards in commando style barricaded the area with bard wire or wired fence. 

            Other guards passed through the back portion by allegedly jumping and immediately took position of the land. 

            Iran talked to the Church Missionaries and explained the situation while ordering security guards of Pascual identified later as Warren Harry Corro and Abelardo Tugahan, Jr. to leave the area without anything to bring.

            Outnumbered by the security guards whom they claimed they were sent by Robinsons Land, their client, the two security guards of Pascual left the area and seek help of Pascual. 

Pascual security guards and men alleged in their affidavits that before the January 14 midnight incident happened then former Butuan City Councilor Benjie Calo went inside the contested area morning of January 13 and told Pascual’s men that the land they were standing or occupying was owned by them, the Calo Family.

In the wee hours of January 14, they again saw respondent Benjie Calo present with the alleged Robinsons Land hired security guards. 

In their affidavit they alleged, Calo was seen and heard by them shouting “ Calo ko Bay, Amo ning yuta ( I am Calo, This is our land)”.

In a telephone interview this afternoon January 19 by this writer, Salvador “Benjie” Calo refused to comment but said as he bid goodbye over the phone“ Wa koy labot ana, Wa koy labot anang Pascual ( I had nothing to do with that, I had nothing to do with Pascual.”. 

First Consolidated Bank Butuan Branch Manager Apolinario Cayomo, Jr for bank’s part confirmed to this writer that they have sold the property contested by Pascual to Robinson’s Land or to the Gokongweis saying the land was already foreclosed and therefore is own by the bank who had the right to sell it to the Gokongweis. 

            Cayomo claimed it was not during his time as Bank Manager when the then Pascual property was foreclosed by FCB but by then FCB Butuan Branch Bank Manager Bonifacio Magdalera. 

“I can’t answer other questions because it was not my time yet when this things happened” Cayomo told this writer in an interview. 

Pascual in an interview told this writer, " FCB sold the property even it knew there is pending court litigation and even if Robinsons has the title and named it already Robinsons property, they can't just go there and harassed my men without court order or ejectment" 

"If these rich people who don't value human rights of mine who had means to fight them legally how much small people who crosses their paths, Is this the kind of progress we wanted, no respect of human rights?", Pascual concludes. 

This writer couldn't locate Robinson's office here. Robinson Land Properties Inc is planning to built a mall here in Butuan City that will be operational next year. 

Robinson's Butuan Mall project if completed will be the biggest mall in the city or in the Caraga region. Gaisano has now a mall here in Butuan City which the first to be built in this region's capital. (-30-)


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