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Sta. Ana, Manila barangay officials file forgery complaint vs ex-village treasurer, Suntrust

MANILA, Philippines –  Officials of Barangay 885 in Santa Ana, Manila, filed a criminal complaint for falsification of documents against their former barangay treasurer and Suntrust Properties Incorporated.

This comes as tensions escalate between the developer and residents due to disruptions purportedly stemming from the construction of Suntrust Ascentia’s 36-story condominium project in the Santa Ana Heritage Zone.

In a joint complaint-affidavit obtained by Rappler on Friday, October 28, the village officials accused Suntrust, its vice president Manolito Elmann, and former Barangay 885 treasurer Romualdo Hipolito of conspiring to secure a falsified copy of the barangay clearance. The complaint was filed on Wednesday, October 25.

The complainants also claimed that Barangay Resolution No. 3, Series of 2019 and Certificate of No Objection dated March 31, 2019, presented by Elmann were falsified. These documents are necessary to secure other permits to build a condominium in the area.

The complaint was filed by Barangay 885 Chairman Richard Lopez and barangay councilors Josephine Go, Carmelo Endaya, Nicanor Rivera, Belen Amatorio, Floredeliza David, and Sangguniang Kabataan Chairman James Earl Lopez.

In a Rappler report on March 28, Barangay Chairman Richard Lopez admitted that his signature was in the document, although he said that he did not know how it got there. Meanwhile, Amatorio said they never issued the contested documents.

Lopez also asked the Manila Barangay Bureau for a certified copy of the supposed 2019 barangay resolution. The bureau, however, said there was no record on file of the said resolution.

Last September, Suntrust also filed perjury and false testimony complaints against the barangay officials.

Suntrust accused the respondents of lying before a Manila court. The developer also questioned the affidavit of counterfeit which states that the barangay officials did not sign the barangay clearance allowing Suntrust to construct a condominium in the area.

In March, the said barangay officials and the Santa Ana Heritage Tourism Association filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition before the Manila court against Suntrust, the National