Ownership battle over Boracay resort property heats up

Boracay Philippines

MANILA, Philippines – The battle over a property in Boracay where a portion of Friday’s Boracay sits continues.

Mila Yap-Sumndad said she owns the property and has filed a libel suit against Jose Marcel Panlilio, head of Boulevard Holdings Inc. (BHI), the publicly listed property developer that owns Friday’s Boracay for questioning her court-sanctioned public auction of the beachfront property to settle her debt to a Quezon City-based realty company.

Yap-Sumndad, who is claiming ownership of a 1,447-square meter portion of the land, said she is the daughter and one of the successors-in-interest of the late Benjamin and Pilar Yap, said to be the original owners of 2,564 sqm of land inside the resort who forged a 25-year lease agreement with Fridays Holdings Inc. in 1989.

Of this property, about 60 percent or 1,447 sqm was acquired by Yap-Sumndad after her parents died, while her siblings shared the rest of the property.

In a statement, Yap-Sumndad said the 25-year lease agreement expired in 2014 but alleged that a year later, the BHI group forcibly took over this lot with the aid of a local court sheriff and local authorities belonging to the Philippine National Police (PNP) Boracay Tourist Assistance Center (BTAC).

BHI said the contested property is now worth P240 million while the entire resort is worth between P1.5 billion and P1.9 billion.

“In these articles, no doubt the respondent (Panlilio) maliciously and publicly imputes against Mila Yap-Sumndad to have entered into a transaction involving a property which she does not own and to somebody she never contracted with,” said Yap-Sumndad in her complaint-affidavit recently filed at the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office in Kalibo, Aklan.

Yap-Sumndad is trying to sell the property but BHI filed a third-party claim in a bid to stop the auction in Quezon City on the ground that FHI was supposedly the owner of the property.

BHI claimed that Yap-Sumndad presented to sell what does not belong to her, trying to transact it with Ambassador Amable Aguiluz. After she supposedly received P74 million from him, she could not repay it, forcing him to pretend to compromise in the Quezon City RTC by offering to auction the property to settle her debt to Aguiluz, BHI alleged.

The company said it would file a criminal case against Aguiluz and Yap and third party claims before the QC trial court.

Yap-Sumndad said BHI’s charges are malicious.

“Such malicious charges (by Panlilio)…are bereft of any fact to support the same,” said Yap-Sumndad as she “never entered into a mortgage contract or any other contract involving property she does not own and further she never had any transaction…with AMA Colleges.”

“It is crystal clear that the defamatory imputation against (her) was prompted by personal ill-will and to injure (her) reputation,” discredit and ridicule her before the bar of public opinion, and expose her to public contempt,” she said.