NAIA

Who owns the abandoned Philippine Village Hotel that ‘undermines’ NAIA’s safety?

Lance Spencer Yu

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Who owns the abandoned Philippine Village Hotel that ‘undermines’ NAIA’s safety?

ABANDONED. Shown is the barricaded entrance to the Philippine Village Hotel.

Lance Spencer Yu/Rappler

Although the land that the Philippine Village Hotel sits on is owned by the Manila International Airport Authority, a private company appears to have taken control of the abandoned hotel

MANILA, Philippines – Airport officials are calling for the end of the Philippine Village Hotel, a building just beside the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) that’s been abandoned for more than 20 years.

They fear it could become a staging point for “terrorist activities” and that its crumbling infrastructure could also pose a safety risk to Terminal 2. But who exactly is behind the Philippine Village Hotel?

It’s complicated. The land that the hotel currently sits on is owned by the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) after an executive order transferred it from the hands of the Nayong Pilipino Foundation. Although MIAA technically owns the land, it doesn’t have control over the property – a private company does.

To understand this, we need some background on the hotel’s origins.

The Philippine Village Hotel was originally owned by Jose Marcel “Jocel” Panlilio through Philippine Village Hotel Inc. (PVHI), a company registered in 1969. PVHI operated the hotel until the turn of the millennium, when the company began failing to meet monthly payments for the land it rented from the Nayong Pilipino Foundation. By July 2001, PVHI owed more than P26 million in unpaid rent.

Then in 2002, the Panlilio family claimed that they had sold nearly all of their shares of stock and interest in the hotel to Rogelio Serafica of Burgundy Realty.

“We have documents in our possession of absolute sale of the subject corporation and separately, absolute sale of all assets and liabilities – all dated January 23, 2002,” Jocel Panlilio told the Philippine STAR in 2009. “Hence all liabilities, including the Supreme Court finding, are assumed to be the responsibility wholly of Mr. Serafica of Burgundy Realty.”

This is where Burgundy enters the picture.

To better understand who owns PVHI, Rappler obtained a copy of the company's General Information Sheet, which was dated October 24, 2014, but given on June 26, 2023. It showed that a certain Burgundy Asset Development Corporation (BADC) – not Burgundy Realty – owns a part of PVHI. The documents also show that Rogelio Serafica sits as PVHI's chairman.

Of the P131,860,000 worth of the company's total subscribed shares, BADC holds 37.89%, equivalent to P50 million. The next biggest shareholder is Southeastern Four Seasons Hotel with 35.74%, worth P47,166,800, and an entity listed as "EBC Trust Account 41-014189-9" with 19.12%, worth P25,225,000. The rest are held by various shareholders owning single-digit percentages of PVHI.

Curiously, PVHI's General Information Sheet claims that the company has no intercompany affiliations, but a look at Burgundy's documents raises some questions.

Rappler also obtained a copy of BADC's General Information Sheet, dated January 10, 2023, and given on June 26, 2023. The documents show that Serafica owns majority of the company, with 75% of subscribed shares, worth P37.5 million. Mark Hicaro, BADC's corporate secretary, is the next largest shareholder, with 22% of subscribed shares, worth P11 million.

Serafica also sits as Burgundy's chairman. Further establishing a link between PVHI and Burgundy are two other names on both companies' boards: Cecilia Kong, PVHI's corporate secretary and Burgundy's treasurer, and Analiza Estanol, PVHI's assistant corporate secretary and a board member of Burgundy.

The connection between Philippine Village Hotel and Burgundy goes deeper since it appears that the latter employs armed guards to patrol the perimeter of the property. Rappler attempted to visit the hotel on Wednesday, July 26, but security personnel stopped our vehicle from entering. The guard explained that their "boss" from Burgundy did not allow anyone to enter.

Officials from MIAA, the Government Service Insurance System, and the Pasay City government have all been unable to enter the property. Even firefighters had trouble entering the complex when fires broke out in the hotel twice.

Rappler attempted to reach out to PVHI and BADC through their listed contact information, but we have yet to receive a response as of publication. We will update this story once they respond.

Read more about the Philippine Village Hotel's complicated past and the problems it poses to NAIA's future: Abandoned Philippine Village Hotel: How it threatens NAIA's operations. – Rappler.com

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Lance Spencer Yu

Lance Spencer Yu is a multimedia reporter who covers the transportation, tourism, infrastructure, finance, agriculture, and corporate sectors, as well as macroeconomic issues.