A&M Corporation, owned by independent gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios, on Wednesday paid $207.99 to the Department of Public Lands in rental fees with interest after receiving a notice of violation of the terms and rental agreement conditions for a property in the lower base.
The Notice of Infringement followed joint complaints filed by Steven Dela Cruz and William Villagomez which alleged that A&M Corp. had outstanding arrears and had sublet the government property to a private company.
After a review of the rental agreement and payment statements, DPL Secretary Sixto Igisomar advised Dela Cruz and Villagomez that the tenant “is up to date with its monthly payment obligations to DPL” under the settlement between DPL and A&M Corp. May 9, 2020. .
Igisomar said that as of October 4, 2022, “the lessee is current with its gross revenue lease obligations with DPL through the end of the second quarter of 2022.”
He said a charge of $202.50 was assessed on October 6, 2022 and remained unpaid with interest, so the total amount owed to DPL under the lease was $207.99.
On November 18, 2022, DPL Chief Compliance Officer Gregory P. Deleon Guerrero issued a Notice of Violation and notified A&M President Maria Palacios that the company had breached its lease. The tenant, the director said, must remedy the violations within 30 days from the date of receipt of the notice. Failure to remedy the breaches within 30 days would place the tenant in automatic default of the lease.
In a statement to Variety on Wednesday, Palacios said he found it “highly suspicious” that the DPL secretary chose to highlight the issue days before the Nov. 24 runoff election.
“As for the quarterly amount due from A&M Corporation, it has already been paid. I was advised of the amount due two weeks ago and paid it this morning. Regarding the warehouse sublease to a third party, it was permitted under the original lease and DPL was notified from day 1. However, in great caution, I forwarded this letter to my attorneys for further review and to consult on my options said Palacios.
“I found out that Secretary Sixto Igisomar has been pushing local media to publish a negative article about me since yesterday, even before I officially received the notice. To be clear, I only received the notice today 1:45 p.m. today. To me, his actions are highly unethical and politically charged,” he added.
For his part, the campaign chairman of the Palacios-Apatang tandem, former President Oscar M. Babauta, said, “While I appreciate the DPL Secretary’s concern for diligently requesting payment of $207.99 to the agency, which has already been paid, I encourage him to make more meaningful efforts to collect the unpaid rent and security deposit from IPI, which amounts to more than half a million dollars.