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Bob Sobrepeña’s ‘luck’ C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 07/21/2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bob Sobrepeña’s ‘luck’



C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S
Jonathan De la Cruz
07/21/2010
Robert John “Bob” Sobrepeña, ertswhile wonder boy of business during the Ramos years, must really be a very lucky guy. Back then, with a little help from his friends within the Ramos circle, he managed to snap such highly profitable businesses as the SouthWoods and Camp John Hay Development Projects and, of course, the highly coveted Edsa MRT3 Project, among others. All three were allegedly worked out under highly questionable terms and conditions using every bit of influence (to include concessional loans and sovereign guarantees) which Sobrepena and his associates were said to have managed to wangle from FVR all the way to GMA. Of course, all the original workouts were consummated under the watchful eyes of the Ramos people.

In the case of SouthWoods, for example, Sobrepeña and company were given hundreds of hectares of lands (mostly sequestered properties) to develop at giveaway terms, using trust funds from the then number one pre-need company in town, College Assurance Plan (CAP), matched a number of times over by concessional loans from government banks. That was a deadly, by any business model, combination of money and influence, courtesy of a sitting administration which translated into one of the fastest growing conglomerates in town. The same formula was used to acquire and hold on to the Camp John Hay complex. To this day, despite repeated demands for payment of long overdue accounts to government in the billions of pesos (P3 billion and counting by the latest reckoning) the Sobrepeña led group has managed to escape largely unscathed. But the biggest enchilada of all is the Edsa MRT3 Project which to this day remains essentially under Sobrepeña’s control. Imagine, after government decided to “buy out” the highly onerous contract just over a year ago to avoid subsidizing Sobrepeña’s folly he is said to continue holding sway in the operating company, MRT DevCo, leveraging his remaining 20 percent or so holdings to the hilt. .... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100721com4.html


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