Fed up with Dennis Uy’s refusal to pay Phoenix Petroleum’s P157M dues, Lucio Tan gets freeze order on Duterte crony’s assets

Absolut Distillers Inc. of ultra bilyonaryo Lucio Tan has successfully obtained the court’s backing to make Phoenix Petroleum of Duterte crony Dennis Uy pay for its debts.

Batangas Regional Trial court Judge Wilhelmina Go-Santiago issued on September 28 a writ of preliminary attachment on the assets of Phoenix for its failure to pay P157.255 million worth of bioethanol (mixed with its gasoline sales) supplied by Absolut.

In a tweet, Inquirer business editor Tina Arceo Dumlao said Phoenix “failed to settle despite numerous demands (from Absolut).”

“We command tha you attach the defendant’s property/ies , real and personal, not exempt from the execution of the said defendant (Phoenix), located in your jurisdiction, to the value of the demands and costs of suit,” Go-Santiago said in the writ sent to Abogado Ruby Ferrer, clerk of court and ex-officio sheriff of the Taguig RTC.

“You safely keep the same according to the Rules of Court, unless the defendant gives security to pay such judgment as may be recovered in the action,” she added.

Go-Santiago gave the Taguig Court 10 days to return the writ and make a report.

Uy has piled up massive debts over the six-year term of his patron, former President Rodrigo Duterte, to expand his business empire which catapulted him among the 50 richest Filipinos.

Phoenix was Uy’s biggest business before 2016 until expanded into telecommunications (DITO), oil production (Malampaya), casino hotel (PH Resorts Group), real estate (Udenna Tower) and logistics (Chelsea).

Uy, however, has been selling off his assets and scaled down some of his businesses since the start of 2022 or months before the exit of Duterte.

Last July, Uy narrowly averted a default by his property business in Clark, Global Gateway Development Corp. (GGDC), when it paid a P200 million loan owed to a consortium of banks led by BDO Unibank.