HLURB reinstates Villa Teresa Homeowners Association

ANGELES CITY — The Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) resolved with finality the long-standing impasse over which homeowners association (HOA) should man the affairs of Villa Teresa Subdivision in this city.

In its decision promulgated on December 10, 2018, HLURB reinstated the original Villa Teresa Homeowners Association, Inc. (VTHOAI) listed under Registration No. 03-250 issued by the Home Insurance and Guaranty Corporation on August 21, 1992.

Edhel P. Bautista, HLURB Housing and Land Use Arbiter, signed the decision. The case stemmed from the complaint filed by a group of Villa Teresa residents represented by Policarpio Butin, Magdalena Ortega, Jesus Tiotuico, Perry Roque, Celestino Cosme, Virginia Miclat, Isle Coleman, Consuelo Pineda, Cresencia Garcia, Dominator Sarmiento, Claire Carlos, Loida Dayrit Rodriguez, Bernardito Bituin, Eufroncina Balajadia, Juan Pineda, Ronald Pabustan, Elsa Tiotuico, Jose Baluyut, Rina Mallari, Gloria Sorolla, Irence Villanueva, Fe Cruz, Florentino Tayag and Ardel Gerero.

The complainants questioned the legality of a “new” homeowners association formed and registered by several residents in the same subdivision in spite of the existence of a duly-registered HOA.

Named respondents in the complaint were Dr. Restituto David, Jr., Dr. Aloysius Paras, Dr. Lourdes Nepomuceno, Dr. Marietta Yturralde, Johnny Limjoco, Sangil Arceo, Hernando Angeles, Loreta Edralin, Dr. Romeo Enriquez, Wilfrido Ayson, Josefina David, Architect Efren Tayag, Florante Timbol, Ricardo Tan, Jr., and Architect Rogelio Torno, who represented themselves as members of the board of directors of a new HOA.

The complainants filed the case on allegation that the respondents violated the provisions of Section 24 and 25 of Republic Act 9904, or the Magna Carta for Homeowners and Homeowners’ Associations, when they “re-registered” the VTHAI with HLURB and obtained Certificate of Registration No. NTR-21115-R. They claimed that the respondents committed perjury and misrepresentation by stating in the application for registration for registration of a HOA that there was no prevailing HOA when they were “aware that VTHOAI exists” and that the re-registration was approved by the majority of the general membership when “only the incorporators signed the same.”

Complainants also claimed, among others, that substantial amendments to the old bylaws of VTHOAI were made and submitted to HLURB without the approval of the resident-members and that the new officers were not voted thru the proper election procedure.

In their defense, the respondents claimed that they registered the new association, named Villa Teresa Homeowners Association (VTHAI), with the Securities and Exchange Commission upon learning that VTHOAI was not listed with the SEC. In addition, the respondents averred to have been validly elected because, upon learning of VTHOAI’s non-registration with the SEC, they took steps in ensuring the legitimacy of the association with HLURB and that they “held-over” to their positions in the meantime.

Respondents even challenged the complaint saying it should be dismissed due to insufficiency in form and substance as only six of the 26 complainants signed the complaints. But the HLURB, after its investigations and arbitrations, maintained that “any defect in the signature or verification…shall not result in the dismissal of the complaint.”

To resolve the case, the HLURB said registration of VTHAI should be canceled and all its articles of association and by-laws, as amended from the original VTHOAI laws, be declared null and void. HLURB stressed that even if proof of registration was not found with the SEC, the respondents should have authenticated the HOA’s registration with the HIGC.

It added that it is also “impossible for them not to know the existence of the old VTHOAI since some of the incorporators of the new association and the old one are the same persons. Moreover, HLURB took judicial notice of the association dockets of VTHAI and found that respondents’ new application for registration with them includes a list of persons allegedly the majority of members who agreed to the amendment of its by-laws and its subsequent adoption.

However, HLURB added, a comparison of VTHAI’s registration with HIGC and its application with the regulatory board “would belie respondents’ claim that the signatories are in fact a majority of the general membership.

In its original registration with HGIC, the decision read, there are roughly 141 persons who are members-homeowners of VTHOAI while in its new registration with the HLURB, only 36 signified their approval to the proposed amendments of the association’s by-laws. “Clearly, the new registration and the amendment of the by-laws of VTHAI is not in accordance with RA 9904 and its IRR and are (sic) invalid,” the decision furthered.

HLURB also did not agree to the respondents’ claim of “hold-over” capacities as officers.

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