High court again denies John Pangelinan’s request for a rehearing

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THE local Supreme Court has again denied John S. Pangelinan’s request for a rehearing regarding a Tanapag property, which he claims.

On Aug. 21, 2020, the high court affirmed that the disputed land belongs to Secundina Untalan Pangelinan and daughter Selina Marie Pangelinan.

John Pangelinan then filed for a petition for a rehearing, which Chief Justice Alexandro Castro, Justice John Manglona and Justice Perry Inos denied on Wednesday.

They also directed the Superior Court “to act upon the judgment.”

According to the high court, John Pangelinan failed to present any point of law or fact that the court has overlooked or misapprehended.

In its previous ruling, the Supreme Court affirmed the determination by Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho that John Pangelinan has no standing in his claims regarding the Tanapag property and that he is not an heir of the decedent.

Citing the statute regarding intestate succession, the justices said John Pangelinan, as a first cousin, was not on the list of people who can get the property by intestate succession.

Secundina and daughter Selina Pangelinan sued John Pangelinan for abusing the legal system to extort money from them by interfering in a probate matter despite not being a creditor.

According to the widow and her daughter’s complaint, Norberto Pangelinan, Secundina’s husband, passed away in Aug. 2015. Norberto owned three parcels of land in Tanapag. Before he died, Norberto entered into an agreement to lease the property to Peak Development LLC for 55 years for $3.2 million.

Norberto also entered into an agreement to sell his reversionary interest in the Tanapag property to Pedro Kileleman, but before the transactions could close Norberto passed away.

Secundina Pangelinan initiated a probate for the estate of Norberto so that the lease and sale transaction could be properly completed. During the probate, John Pangelinan challenged Norberto’s title to the Tanapag property without any evidentiary or legal support, Secundina said.

Judge Camacho, in his ruling, said based on the testimonies and exhibits there was nothing in John Pangelinan’s relationship with the plaintiffs that justified his interference.

Judge Camacho said John Pangelinan “intentionally” and “improperly” interfered with the performance of the contracts between the plaintiffs and Norberto’s estate  with Peak Development, which caused the plaintiffs’ performance of the contracts to be more expensive and burdensome.

The judge also found John Pangelinan liable to pay the plaintiffs for the pecuniary loss that the mother and daughter experienced as a result of John Pangelinan’s interference.

The judge said John Pangelinan “showed his primary desire to cause [the] plaintiffs to expand legal fees by filing almost five hundred pages of frivolous filing, all of which the court denied.”

Most importantly, Judge Camacho said, “John knows that his claim in the probate was meritless and that he had no legitimate claim to the Tanapag properties.”

The plaintiffs, through attorney Janet King, have  requested the Superior Court to issue an order directing John Pangelinan to file a bond or provide other security in any form to ensure payment of damages and double costs on appeal.

Judge Camacho ordered Secundina and Selina Pangelinan to file their request for damages and/or other remedies against John Pangelinan.

They want John Pangelinan to pay a total of $7.6 million in damages. These include  $90,281.92 for attorney’s fees and costs; $256,446.85 for damages in the form of investment interest; $798,580.97 for emotional distress; $2,661,936.58 for punitive damages; and $3.8 million for tortious interference claim.

Attorney King said John Pangelinan has the present financial ability to post a bond or to provide security to ensure payment because he has inherited real properties previously.

After the recent high court ruling, the Superior Court is expected to issue a decision regarding the plaintiffs’ request for damages.

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