LandBank seeks settlement of dispute at Agdao coop

Subscribe Now July 25, 2011 at 10:40am

THE Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) asked the court to intervene in the ongoing conflict among members of the board of directors (BOD) of a multi-purpose cooperative in Davao City. In a four-page complaint, the government-run bank appealed for the settlement of the dispute between two sets of BOD of the Agdao Multi-Purpose Cooperative, known as Horfilla Board and the Origenes Board, for the bank to determine, which legitimate board it has to deal with.

"(T)he AMPC has two existing sets of BOD with conflicting claims. This affects LandBank as one of AMPC depository banks... The monies covered under this account are the subject of two adverse requests," the bank said in its complaint.

The bank cited that the "Horfilla Board" asked LandBank "to refrain from entertaining any and all transactions made by and through Elpidion A. Origenes and Palmelenia M. Batausa."

On the other hand, the "Origenes Board" asked the bank "to reconsider its decision in freezing the AMPC Current Account and allow them to have normal transactions with the said account under Elpidio A. Origenes, Marcos dela Cruz, Jasmin Rivera, Palmelenia Batausa and Franklin Albarracin."

In the wake of this development, the bank asked the court to (1) issue an order summoning the defendants to interplead with one another in order to determine their respective rights and claims, and, 2) allow the bank to recover costs of suit.

Interpleader is a remedy available for a complainant who wanted to initiate another party to sue another in order to clarify the legitimate claimant. Interpleader allows a plaintiff (two BODs) to initiate a lawsuit in order to compel two or more other parties to litigate a dispute.

In a complaint filed on June 24 by the LBP, it states that during the 17th General Assembly of AMPC on April 10, 2011, BOD positions were open for election.

There were two existing Election Committees (Elecom), one was headed by lawyer Mariano C. Alegarbes (Alegarbes Elecom) and the other was headed by lawyer Marvin Pulido (Pulido Elecom).

During the elections, the coop's board has three incumbent members, namely Victoria T. Horfilla, Elenita P. Coronel and Susan C. Bungabong.

The 10 candidates for BOD who were allowed to run and the votes they garnered were the following: Belen Gemelio with 127 votes; Aquilina A. Pilapil with 125; Ramon D. Molina with 123; Marcosa dela Cruz with 121; Delfin H. Falcon with 120; Marius L. Quijada with 115; Ernesto R. Catubig with 112; Elpidio A. Origenes with 102; Ricardo B. Castillo with 95; and Myrna Wiebus with 81 votes.

The Pulido Elecom proclaimed Gemelio, Pilapil, Molina, dela Cruz, Falcon and Quijada as the newly elected members of the AMPC BOD after garnering the first six highest votes.

Horfilla, Coronel and four of the six elected directors -- Pilapil, Molina, Falcon, and Quijada -- composed the group known as the "Horfilla Board."

But former AMPC chair Antonio dela Cruz disqualified the four new BODs, based on the certified canvass result of the election and proclaimed Catubig, Origenes, Castillo and Weibus, who garnered the next four highest number of votes, as duly elected and qualified members of the BOD.

Dela Cruz also proclaimed Gemelio and dela Cruz as winners.

Gemelio, dela Cruz, Bungabong, Catubig, Origenes, Castillo and Weibus who were proclaimed winners after the alleged disqualification of Pilapil, Molina, Falcon and Quijada, composed the "Origenes Board.”


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