News: QC court rules vs. firm of Noynoy’s uncle

THE Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) ruled to dismiss the case
filed against MRT Development Corp. (MRT Devco) by Trackworks Rail
Transit Advertising, Vending and Promotions Inc., an advertising firm
chaired by President Benigno S. Aquino Jr.'s uncle.
In a copy of the court's decision given to BusinessMirror, Assistant
City Prosecutor Reuben Ritzuko T. Veradio said that it recommends the
case filed by Trackworks "be dismissed for lack of probable cause and
for lack of evidence."
The decision last month by the QC-RTC is the fifth loss in a string of
lawsuits filed by Trackworks against executives of MRT Devco and its
new advertising manager Media Puzzle Inc. (formerly Progressive Global
Trading Services Inc.).
The court document said the complaint of Trackworks, which is chaired
by Herminio S. Aquino, began when government employees "brought down
its giant billboards on the extreme sides of EDSA" when typhoon
Milenyo struck Metro Manila in September 2006.
That time, Trackworks is on a second contract lasting ten years
beginning December 2005 with MRT Devco.
This contract renews the first that granted Trackworks "the exclusive
advertising rights to undertake activities related to the
conceptualization, design and sale of advertising space, media and
promotion events in and outside the premises of the MRT," the company
said in its recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The company's SEC filing added that "the contract covers the interior
and exterior areas of all 13 stations and railway structured owned by
the MRT DevCo, as well as the interiors and exteriors of 73 trains
In its latest financial report to the SEC, Trackworks posted
advertising revenue of P265.25 million in 2004, which was higher by
50.32 percent than the advertising revenue in the previous year of
P176.45 million.
Its net income also zoomed by more than 200 percent to P39.69 million
in 2004 from P12.36 million the previous year.
That time, Trackworks had a total of eight officers, 66 rank and file
employees and 74 manpower complement.
Aquino, which owns 251,660 common shares of the total 11,554,009
shares, is the half brother of the President's late father Senator
Benigno Aquino Jr.
The company filed its complaint after Media Puzzle reportedly
installed its own tarpaulin ad on Trackworks' advertising structure or
billboard on April 30, 2010.
To note, Media Puzzle is owned by five shareholders owning 20 percent
each of the company that had a paid up capital of P625,000 when it
registered with the SEC in 2008.
Based on court documents, Trackworks said it "lost possession of the
billboard in the amount of" P5 million "and was deprived of its right
to obtain advertising income" in the amount of P1 million a month.
However, the QC-RTC court said that since MRT DevCo terminated its
"lease-advertising" contract, the company "was within the bounds of
the law."
"Respondents could not be charged for grave coercion since their acts
are not "without authority of the law" even assuming …that their acts
have resulted in 'preventing Trackworks from doing something.'"
The court added that the respondents could also not be held liable for
robbery or malicious mischief, as Trackworks alleged, "since they did
not take any personal property by means of violence nor did they
deliberately caused damage to the property of another due to hate or

[Originally submitted September 02, 2010, to BusinessMirror. Text and
photo by Dennis D. Estopace, Reporter. Photo of MRT Quezon Avenue
station stairs after a heavy downpour.]

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