“Why does it appear to be a “secret transaction?,” Maina Walkley of the Concerned Members of Philippine Fiesta of Victoria asks when Ross Manuel and his Management Committee did not consult the Philippine Fiesta of Victoria Inc (PFVI) members about the recent selling of Lot 2 of the Laverton Property. This is part of Walkley’s open letter to the Filipino community dated 30 June 2013.
In the same statement, Walkley questions how Manuel made secret from the community the selling of Lot 2, the middle property which could potentially affect the land value of Lots 1 and 3. She writes, “This is such a huge and important project for the whole Filipino community and yet there was no transparency into the transactions that took place, and no adequate deliberations and consultations on the matter. Why does it appear to be a ‘secret transaction’ and only made known to selected few individuals and organizations?”
It will can be recalled that the buyer of Lot 1 did not get the Hobson Council’s approval for its proposal. Manuel’s committee, in turn, has commenced to sell Lot 2 to build a Philippine Multipurpose Centre on Lot 3, a plan which they proposed four years ago. Recently, Manuel is accusing the Concerned Members for delaying their plan. In fact, Manuel insists that the Committee is mandated by the PFVI Constitution to decide or enter into such major transaction, quoting Section 20, Item 2, letter C of the PFVI Constitution.
During the brief period that the Interim Management Committee gained access to PFVI’s bank accounts, Walkley said in her statement that the PFVI bank account has comparatively lower balances amounting to $2,626.18 and 48,736.56 for the business and term deposit account, respectively, while the deposit box had merely an empty envelope with no evidence of the Certificate of Title.
In the same statement, Walkley urged all concerned members to prevent Manuel and other members of his Committee from entering into any new contract to sell any part of PFVI Laverton Property until concerns with accountability, full disclosure, project proposals, and membership participations have been fully addressed.
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