Court junks case by “$6B bidder” vs. Transco bidding

13 Feb 2008

The Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati dismissed the complaint of La Costa Development Corp. against the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) for failing to state a cause of action and for lack of jurisdiction against PSALM and its President, Mr. Jose C. Ibazeta.

In its decision dated 05 February 2008, Branch 61 of the Makati RTC said that La Costa “faltered to state a cause against herein defendants PSALM and Mr. Ibazeta.”

Presiding Judge J. Cedrick O. Ruiz explained that “La Costa’s allegations of fraud were not specified which is another translucent badge of an unwholesome intent to go on a ‘fishing expedition’”, and that the complainant “even failed to establish and prove its blanket allegations and motherhood statements on fraud.”

The Court stated that “For this Court to entertain La Costa’s egregious attempt to fish for fraudulent acts may open the floodgates to similar harassment suits filed by disgruntled bidders whose woes are largely self-inflicted.”

The Court ruled that, “from the evidence adduced by the parties… it becomes perspicuous that PSALM’s action of disqualifying La Costa was founded upon the published and accepted bidding procedures which were previously revealed to the plaintiff herein which bound itself to abide thereby.”

The Court likewise dismantled La Costa’s argument that Mr. Ibazeta was biased because he knew “a certain ‘Mr. Enrique Razon Jr.’”, and declared that “that defendant Ibazeta is somehow connected to Enrique Razon Jr. proves nothing.”

The dismissal of La Costa’s complaint, filed in November last year to question its disqualification from the bidding for the TransCo concession due to its failure to satisfy the financial criteria for the bidding, sets aside any doubt on the integrity of the bidding conducted by PSALM.

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