Just a few days ago, Waterfront Philippines got the news. The Philippines Court of Appeals ordered the casino and hospitality investor pay a whopping $16 million penalty.
It is all about a defaulted loan payment from 2003. Some things just never go away…but it seemed like it at first due to a favourable decision by a lower court.
Details of the default
At the time, the company failed to repay an over $7 million loan (with a five-year term) to the Social Security System (SSS) borrowed to complete the facilities at the Waterfront Cebu City Casino Hotel.
The loan was secured using a first mortgage on a parcel of land owned by WPI’s parent company.
SSS began foreclosure proceedings and sold the property, but $3 million still remained. An attempt was made to restructure the loan, but it never happened.
Time went on and WPI seemed to prevail until the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City declared that the original agreement with collateral was void. Waterfront was now on the hook for over $11 million.
More legal decisions
Interestingly, that order was overturned on September 25, imposing the original penalty.
Now it is a question of $16.1 million plus charges. Waterfront doesn’t intend to pay without a fight. WPI is appealing to the country’s Supreme Court and will move for the reconsideration of the decision.
Whether WPI will be required to pay the amount remains to be seen, pending the appeal. It is now up to the highest court in the land.