MEDIA RELEASE: 7 February 2009

Court Orders Eviction of Boracay Mayor's Sister from Posh SandCastles: The Apartments

The Buruanga-Malay court ordered on 5 February 2009 the eviction of Boracay Mayor Ceciron Cawaling’s sister Editha Cawaling Meren from the posh SandCastles The Apartments owned by Australian couple Greg and Viveca Hutchinson.

In his order copies of which were delivered personally by the clerk of court on Friday afternoon, Judge Raul C. Barrios granted the Hutchinsons’ motion for issuance of a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction in the complaint for forcible entry against Meren, who “occupies without any clear right the ground floor of the Boracay SandCastles – The Apartments.”

However, the court denied the motion for issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction against Evangeline Dizon Dalino stating that Dalino was already in possession of SandCastles Resort since 2006. The Hutchinsons were trapped inside their penthouse on the night of 5 November 2008 when Meren and Dalino led armed men inside Boracay SandCastles Beach Resort and The Apartments.

On the final hearing early January Dalino claimed in court that she successfully forcibly took over the resort back on 17 October 2006. Plaintiffs’ counsel Julius Leonida questioned this and furnished the court with a copy of the Regional Trial Court Branch 9 decision that clearly stated that Dalino was in Manila on said date as she disputed her participation on the attempted take-over.

Dalino’s Australian boyfriend George Gaitanos and his partner Michael John Bailey signed a sublease contract four years ago with the Hutchinsons, who exercised the contract’s extrajudicial clause and threw them out in April 2006 when the former failed to pay rent and violated several provisions in the contract.

Viveca Hutchinson who received the court order on their 14th week holed up inside their penthouse home in SandCastles The Apartments said, “This might signal the end of our captivity, but it signals the beginning of a struggle to get back to normalcy, to be released from the trauma and terror that my husband, 5-year old twins, staff, and I had been suffering since Meren and Dalino illegally took over SandCastles Resort and The Apartments with armed goons 93 days ago.”

On 5 November 2008 the Hutchinson children witnessed the armed men in balaclavas herd the SandCastles staff, guests and security personnel into the resort Front Desk which is directly opposite the kids’ bedroom, and heard the threat ordered by Dalino to “shoot if they resist.”

A report submitted to the Australian Embassy by Ms Jessica Condolita of the Malay counterpart of the department of social welfare declared the events that occurred from 5 November 2008 and during the family’s captivity in their home may have psychological damage to the young children. The twins left the penthouse with their father a month ago “for them to get back to normal activities,” said Greg Hutchinson, who himself didn’t escape an assault by Arman Dizon, a cousin of Dalino’s.

“It may still be a long legal battle to retrieve from deceitful Dalino’s tight grip the cottages and villas that my husband built with his bare hands twenty years ago. There is this constant fear of being unlawfully taken over and held against our will inside our home, our castle. I thought 2008 was a happy year for us when we won all the nuisance cases filed by Dalino and Meren. We celebrated the twins’ fifth birthday and Greg’s 50th birthday in SandCastles’ Thai Castles restaurant in May and July respectively,” said Viveca.

Hutchinson legal counsel Oscar Tagamolila disclosed that they will implement the order regarding the Apartments and file a motion for reconsideration regarding the resort. “It will be easy to prove that Dalino was not in possession prior to November 2008.”

Viveca F. Hutchinson 0920 558 7188;
Oscar C. Tagamolila 0917 718 2108

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