We are reposting our letter to the Senate on this plan of the Aquino son to dispose of the Fujimi Property.
An Open Letter to the Senate of the Philippines
Protect the Philippine Patrimony in Japan, Save the Philippine Properties from Arroyo's Greed and Corruption: Petition and Unity Statement of Concerned Filipinos in the Philippines, Japan, Etc.
President, Senate of the Philippines
Rm. 606 6th Flr., GSIS Bldg.,
Financial Center, Roxas Blvd.,
We, the members of the Filipino community and our Japanese supporters, are outraged by Noynoy Aquino's plan to get rid of the Fujimi Property, which is a 5,219 square-meter prime real-state located in a mixed residential and commercial district in Tokyo right next to the Imperial Palace and the famous Yasukuni Shrine, where coincidentally those who sacrificed their lives for their country in WWII are enshrined now being offered to two questionable bidders, named ARDEPRO CO. LTD. and TOWA-KISHISHOJI PATNERSHIP .
We understand that the move to subject the said Philippine property and patrimony in Japan for built-operate-transfer schemes come after the revelation by Engineer Rodolfo Noel Lozada, Jr. at the Philippine Senate Blue Ribbon hearing last 8 February 2008 on the overpriced Zhong Xing Telecommunication Equipment Company-National Broadband Network (ZTE-NBN) project, for which we understand that former Commission on Election Chairman Benjamin Abalos, Sr., allegedly hoped to gain a large amount of kickbacks amounting to 130 million US dollars in connivance with Jose Miguel Arroyo, the husband of Gloria M. Arroyo, who should be held responsible for all these scams.
We, therefore, view both the biddings for ZTE-NBN and the Fujimi property projects as having no clear public rationale, and like the former, the bidding for the Fujimi property has to be stopped.
In August 2003, the Arroyo administration discretely published an ad in the newspapers soliciting bids for the development of the remaining Philippine properties in Japan. This "stealth attack" was almost successful as it was not until October that the Filipino community got word of the new attempt.
The bidding schedule was particularly disturbing since it was timed so that awards could be made on the day prior to the moratorium on property dealings, six months before the elections - a blatant attempt that the Filipino community in Japan saw as a desperate effort to quickly raise funds for Arroyo’s election campaign.
In February 2004, despite motion filed by then Senate President Manuel Villar, to the great surprise of the Filipino community in Tokyo, articles suddenly appeared in the Philippine newspapers that the Arroyo government was already prepared to award 50-year leases for the Shibuya and two Kobe properties, in exchange for 948 million pesos (1.78 billion yen) under a "hybrid build-operate-transfer" scheme.
The Kudanshita, Fujimi property was excluded from the award that we surmise, in part, to pacify the ambassador who lives there, and who has been against the disposal of the properties.
The awards were to be given to two companies: Urban Corporation, a relatively young property developer based in Hiroshima; and a certain Berg Corporation, which is not listed anywhere in Japan. Thus, the granting such award to a non-Japanese or Filipino company has by virtue of the provisions of the Japan-Philippine Reparations Treaty a breach of the treaty and a violation of the terms and conditions of the said treaty that has restricted the granting of such award to any non-Filipino or non-Japanese individual, company and otherwise.
Moreover, there had been no announcement as required by the law regarding such information as to the names of the other bidders, prices submitted, and the details of the schemes to be undertaken. Even now, such information has not been disclosed to the public that the Filipino community in Japan cannot understand other than an aversion to transparency. Even senior level embassy officers in Tokyo have not informed of the details throughout the bidding process then and now.
Once again, in February 25, 2008, at the height of the nation-wide mass actions calling for Arroyo’s resignation due to corruption charges and the People Power anniversary, the news reported the call for the Fujimi property bidding. This time, the Philippine Ambassador, Domingo L. Siazon is even implicated in what the Filipino community deem to be another scam despite the fact that he has openly spoken against the disposal of the Fujimi property.
The news stated the Philippine ambassador might be “bent on favoring a close relative or friends of his wife’s clan in Japan.” This statement made by an official of the Department of Finance is posted at http://www.journal.com.ph/index.php?issue=2008-02-25&sec=4&aid=50609.
Accordingly, we, the Filipinos in Japan and our Japanese supporters, oppose all forms of trampling on our own patrimonial rights. If the removal of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is necessarily for these patrimonies to remain in Philippine hands, so be it. Sobra na, tama na, kumilos na (Enough is enough, stop the immoral undertaking, let’s act now)!
We, therefore, are affixing our signatures to show our unity on the issue and solidarity with the millions of Filipinos calling for the preservation of the historical Fujimi property, and other Philippine patrimonies in Japan, especially the property at Nampeidai, Shibuya Ward in Tokyo that is now being contested in a Philippine court by a Japanese who claims he bought the said property from the Arroyo government sans a national referendum and therefore has the right to register the said property and dispose of it as his own. For this, we demand very strongly the resignation or ousting of Arroyo.
What is most nauseating is the information we have received from our fellow protesters to these squanderings of Philippine patrimonies, a trend in fact started by no less than the mother of the incumbent in 1986, as follows:
In its MR, OSG claims that 'As things stand, the latest BAC-Japan resolution on the matter is dated February 17, 2010 and that no one pre-qualfied from among those who expressed interest to participate in the negotiated development and long -term lease of Fujimi property.'"
Protect the Philippine Patrimony in Japan!
Save the Philippine Fujimi Property Away from Greed and Corruption!
CONCERNED FILIPINOS IN JAPAN AND ALL OVER THE WORLD