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CA upholds HLURB decision in Forbes homeowner's case.

By Rey Panaligan

The Court of Appeals (CA) has dismissed a petition to stop the Forbes Park Association, Inc. (FPAI) from granting homeowner's privileges to banker Edna Camcam, the long-time partner of the late Gen. Fabian Ver.

In a decision, the CA ruled that Dr. Daniel Vasquez, who now owns the house and lot on Cambridge Circle in North Forbes in Makati City that used to be Camcam's, failed to implead the latter in the case he filed with the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) against FBAI.

The CA upheld the HLURB's ruling that Vasquez's failure to comply with the order to implead Camcam as respondent warranted the dismissal of the complaint.

It junked Vasquez's argument that by impleading Camcam would mean he acknowledged the latter's ownership over the property.

"The absence of one such party renders all subsequent actions of the court null and void for want of authority to act, not only as to the absent parties but even as to those present," the CA pointed out.

It said that Camcam was an indispensable party to the complaint because if the HLURB arbiter were to decide in favor of Vasquez, it would in effect deprive Camcam of her enjoyment of the privileges granted her.

On the other hand, if the Arbiter proceeded with the complaint without impleading Camcam, "all subsequent actions of the arbiter would be rendered null and void for want of authority to act not only to the unimpleaded parties, but also as regards Vasquez, " the CA said.

"Besides, whatever decision the arbiter will issue would not bind Camcam, not being a party to the case. On the other hand, if the Arbiter would act on the Complaint without impleading Camcam and then rule in favor of Vasquez, the same is a clear violation of Camcam's right to due process," it explained.

Case records showed that in 2014, the Makati City regional trial court (RTC) declared Vasquez as the owner of the house and lot, and ordered Camcam and her daughter to vacate the property.

Camcam was the original owner of the property. She mortgaged the property when she secured a loan from the United Coconut Planters Bank. When she failed to pay her loan, the property was foreclosed and sold to Benjamin Bitanga.

In 1994, Bitanga sold the property to Vasquez who allowed Camcam to stay rent-free on request of Ver, his friend. Later, Vasquez asked Camcam and her daughter to vacate the property but when the latter refused, he filed a case with the trial court.

Then Vasquez filed a case with the HLURB against FBAI for continuing the grant of homeowner's privileges to the Camcams. The HLURB dismissed his complaint for failure to implead Camcam. He elevated the issue with the CA which dismissed his petition.

"... We reject Vasquez' claims assailing the validity of the HLURB's Resolution dated July 2, 2015. Hence, for failure to raise a meritorious ground warranting a reversal, the Court affirms the Decision of the HLURB. WHEREFORE, the Petition for Review is DENIED for lack of merit. The assailed Decision of the HLURB dated September 19, 2017 is AFFIRMED," the CA ruled.

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Title Annotation:National
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Feb 3, 2019
Words:527
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