STI wins bid for PWU's Taft campus in foreclosure auction

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 19 2015 11:59 AM | Updated as of Mar 19 2015 07:59 PM

MANILA, Philippines - STI Education Systems Holdings, Inc. said it was declared the winning bidder for Philippine Women's University's (PWU) properties in Manila in a foreclosure auction.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange, STI said it won in the auction sales involving extra-judicial foreclosures of PWU's properties along Taft Avenue, Malate, Manila where the PWU school is located; and another PWU property located at Pilar Hidalgo Lim Street, Malate, Manila.

Sought for comment, the PWU Benitez Group said they will exhaust all legal possibilities to redeem the said properties.

"We have one year to redeem the properties (from the time they were auctioned off). We will exhaust all legal possibilities," Lyca Benitez-Brown, PWU media director, said.

"We still have hope. We're hoping the judge handling the petition for rehab will grant a stay," she added.

On Monday, PWU chairperson Dr. Helena Benitez sought involuntary rehabilitation of PWU in an attempt to preserve its operations after STI Holdings initiated foreclosure proceedings against the university.

In her petition filed before the Manila Regional Trial Court, the matriarch of the Benitez family said PWU’s operations are dependent on the income generated by its campuses.

STI earlier sought the foreclosure of several PWU campuses for its alleged failure to pay STI almost P1 billion in accumulated loans, interest, and expenses.

STI had filed before the Office of the Clerk of Court and Ex-Officio Sheriff of the Regional Trial Court of Manila a petition for the extra-judicial foreclosure of PWU properties in Taft Avenue and Indiana St.

"The filing will protect the interest of STI and its shareholders. We were supposed to be have been paid in shares of stock way back in 2011 but even now, more than three years later, the first required step of increasing the authorized capital stock of Unlad Resources, PWU's sister company that would absorb the school's assets, was never taken by the Benitez group," STI president Monico Jacob earlier said.

The Benitez family has offered to settle its debt to STI for P644 million, but STI Holdings did not accept the offer, saying it is not in accordance to its contractual obligations.