THE refund sought by the Capitol from the heirs of the controversial Balili estate went down by about P7 million after the amount was issued to the children through a bank check last Sept. 8.
The four children of the late Engr. Luis Balili were issued a bank check amounting to P7,413,996.88 after Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Ester Veloso of Branch 6 affirmed its release in a ruling issued recently.
The amount received by Luis’ daughters Louise Therese, Karla, Janette, and son Pocholo represented their share in the P98.9 million sale of the Balili family’s property to the Cebu provincial government.
Based on computations by Balili estate executor Romeo Balili, the payment meant that there is only P17.4 million left or less than the P37.8 million sought by the province as refund for its payment.
The province sought a refund following results of a survey which showed that portions of the property were found to be underwater.
Provincial Attorney Marino Martinquilla said they filed a pleading before RTC Judge Rafael Yrastorza of Branch 14 who is handling the civil suit on the province’s efforts to reclaim the P37.8 million as refund.
“What was released could no longer be returned. There is no chance of recovery. To protect the interest of the province, we filed a writ of attachment so their (Balili family) real properties would be used as guarantee (payment),” Martinquilla said.
Martinquilla said they also reserved their right to contest Judge Veloso’s ruling before the Court of Appeals.
In an order dated August 25 2011, Veloso denied the motion for reconsideration filed by the province on an earlier resolution granting the release of the P7 million to Luis’ children.
Veloso said the province should pursue its claim before Judge Yrastorza which is “the appropriate venue for it to ventilate and litigate the same.”
The Balili beach property in barangay Tinaan, Naga City is the subject of an ongoing graft investigation by the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas.
About 9.4 hectares of the property were classified as underwater in barangay Tinaan, Naga City.
A bigger area of 20.2 hectares is classified as timberland or public land and thus not subject to sale based on a survey by Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
Named respondents in the case are Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, over 20 Capitol officials, the widow Amparo and the estate executor Romeo Balili.
The provincial government requested the court to freeze the P37.8 million pending resolution of a civil case filed before RTC Judge Yrastorza.
The Capitol requested the court to compel the Balili Estate to refund the amount paid for the portion of the property that is underwater.
About P44.48 million was withdrawn by Luis’s widow Amparo from the estate’s account in the F. Ramos branch of BDO last Dec. 7.
Three manager’s checks were issued by the bank.
Two checks for P22.2 million and P14.8 million were claimed by Amparo as her court-declared share of her husand’s estate.
Based on the will, Amparo would received 2/3 of the estate or P14.8 million.
His daughters Louise Therese, Karla, Janette, and son Pocholo would share the remaining 1/3 or P7.4 million.
Last Sept. 8, court sheriff Dwight Camingue implemented the issuance of the Banco de Oro check of P7.4 million to Luis’ children.
Pocholo received and ackowleged receipt for himself, Ma. Karla, and Janette. Louise Therese was represented by Amparo.
An acknowledgement receipt showing the signatures of Pocholo and Amparo were attached in the records of the case. Reporter Ador Vincent Mayol