MANILA -- The Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Malabon City has ordered the arrest of a businessman from Las Piñas City after citing him in contempt and imposing a jail term of six months.
Jose T. Marcelo Jr., son of the late industrialist Jose Marcelo Sr., was found guilty of criminal and civil indirect contempt by Judge Zaldy B. Docena of Branch 170 of the RTC in Malabon City in a decision issued on August 26.
On the same day Docena issued a warrant directing the Las Piñas Police and other law enforcement agencies to arrest Jose Jr.
In his decision, Docena held that Jose Jr. violated a 2012 injunction order enjoining the businessman from taking actions that would impede the orderly liquidation of the now defunct Marcelo Group of Companies.
The judge ruled that the violation “constitutes disobedience of and resistance to a lawful writ and judgment” of the court and “improper conduct tending, directly or indirectly, to impede, obstruct, or degrade the administration of justice.”
The decision was in response to a petition filed by Midas International Development Corp. and Anna Melinda Marcelo-Revilla in September last year.
The petitioners sought to have Jose Jr. held in contempt for failing to heed the court’s decisions stopping him from interfering in the liquidation of the Marcelo companies.
Earlier the same tribunal acknowledged Marcelo-Revilla as liquidator of the Marcelo Group of Companies.
Meanwhile, Midas Corp. purchased several real-estate properties of the Marcelo companies through public auction.
Instead of heeding the court’s permanent injunction preventing him from interfering in the liquidation process, Jose Jr. wrote the Malabon City Register of Deeds and had his adverse claims annotated on the titles of real-estate properties that were part of the assets for liquidation of the Marcelo companies.
Earlier, the Court of Appeals (CA) set aside the order issued by another trial court judge favoring one of the parties in a dispute embroiling the estate of the late Marcelo Sr.
The CA declared that Judge Alexander Balut of Branch 76 of the RTC in Quezon City committed “grave abuse of discretion” when he issued a writ of execution without basis and to the detriment of the rights of the other heirs.
The CA also castigated Balut for including in the writ of execution some assets that do not actually belong to the Marcelo patriarch’s estate by relying solely on the inventory submitted by his court-appointed administrator, Jose Marcelo Jr.
Jose Jr., the youngest of the four Marcelo siblings, was designated as the estate administrator after his elder brother and the original administrator, Edward, died in 2009.
Edward had been the estate administrator since their father passed away in 1987.
The designation of Jose Jr. as administrator was opposed by Edward’s children John Steven Marcelo and Anna Melinda Marcelo-Revilla, who is the liquidator of the Marcelo Group of Companies.