Japanese IT firm execs hire new law firm for estafa case

By on July 30, 2017


Fujitsu Logo (Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain)
Fujitsu Logo (Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain)

MANILA, July 31 (PNA) — Top executives of a Japanese information technology company operating in the Philippines acquired the services of a new law firm to represent them in a case filed involving alleged fraudulent sale of a 20- hectare property at the First Philippine Industrial Park II in Tanauan, Batangas.

Fujitsu Philippines, Inc. , in a recently issued statement, said board members Shiro Ogata, Hiroshi Nakamura, and Tomoji Sato acquired the services of the Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc and De Los Angeles Law Firm, to represent them in estafa case of filed against them before the Makati Regional Trial Court. The case was filed by Berny Realty and Development Corporation (BDRC) which also named as respondents 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 chair and president Frederick Santos and an agent identified as Joey Radovan.

Fujitsu Philippines is a global leader in IT systems integrator and solutions provider of cloud services to optimize business operations in the country. The company statement said the case stemmed from the sale of the property for P150 million, which was settled through a handshake agreement between Ogata and BDRC representative Necisto Sytengco, witnessed by Santos and Radovan. The sale was later formalized in writing through a letter signed by Sato.

Accordingly, BDRC issued checks amounting to P30 million as down payment, based on the agreed-upon terms of the sale. Believing 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 its business plans. The problem started when Fujitsu and CBRE refused to execute a Deed of Absolute Sale amid follow-up 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 same 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 RTC Branch 50, no reason was provided for the change in counsel, other than it was “the instruction of the clients”. Ogata, Nakamuranand Sato were previously represented by Flaminiano Arroyo & Duenas Law Firm.