By FRANCO G. REGALA
MAKATI CITY – Embattled Fujitsu Philippines board members Shiro Ogata, Hiroshi Nakamura, and Tomoji Sato recently acquired the services of the Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc and De Los Angeles Law Firm, to represent them in their ongoing case of estafa.
Apart from Ogata, Nakamura, and Sato, other respondents in the case include Fujitsu directors Junichi Sato, Ernesto Espinosa, Socorro Silva, and Wilfredo Pantig.
Also facing charges are real-estate brokerage firm CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) and its Chairman and President Frederick Santos, and an agent named Joey Radovan.
The respondents were not immediately contacted for their comment and are invited to air their side on the issue by sending their statement to email@example.com.
Berny Realty and Development Corporation (BDRC) filed the case after Fujitsu, through CBRE, sold them a 20-hectare property at The First Philippine Industrial Park II (FPIP) in Tanauan, Batangas for P150 million.
The sale was first settled through a handshake agreement between Ogata and BDRC representative Necisto Sytengco (as witnessed by Santos and Radovan), before being formalized in writing days later through a letter signed by Sato.
Accordingly, BDRC issued checks amounting to P30 million as downpayment, based on the agreed-upon terms of the sale.
Trusting that they were now the rightful owner of the property, BDRC then spent another P5 million for repairs and assessment, and secured all the necessary permits from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) in support of their business plans.
The problem began when Fujitsu and CBRE refused to execute a Deed of Absolute Sale, despite follow-ups from BDRC and an offer to pay the remaining balance for the property.
According to the Japanese firm, they needed to “obtain the approval of FPIP” before completing the sale, allegedly because Fujitsu “did not want to offend them”.
Later, it was revealed that Fujitsu sold the property to FPIP at the lower price of P110 million. FPIP then re-sold six out of the 20 hectares of the property to another company for P896 million, thereby earning a profit of P786 million while retaining ownership of the 14 remaining hectares.
In the letter addressed to the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 50, no reason was provided for the change in counsel, other than it was “the instruction of the clients”. Ogata, Nakamura, and Sato were previously represented by Flaminiano Arroyo & Duenas.
New developments on the case, including the side of all concerned, will be posted once available. (Franco Regala)