Oswald Magno (right) has sued Balita publisher Tess Cusipag and sons for civil fraud ( Photo composite: Philippine Canadian News.Com (PCN.Com)
Balita faces another lawsuit
Teodoro ‘Ted’ Alcuitas
Oswald Magno, who won a libel suit in May 2018 against Balita publisher Tess Cusipag and was awarded $410,000, has brought another lawsuit over three successive transfers of real estate assets that he alleges were made by Cusipag in violation of the Fraudulent Conveyance Act, court records show.
Included as co-defendants in Magno’s lawsuit are Cusipag’s three sons, Michael De Juan, Anthony De Juan and Edward De Juan.
In a statement of claim on July 18, 2018, Magno alleges that Cusipag conveyed the family home and two rental condos that were registered solely in her name as the legal owner, shortly after substantial damages were awarded against her in the late Sen. Tobias Enverga Jr.’s defamation action and while Magno’s lawsuit and other lawsuits against Cusipag were pending.
Magno alleges that the successive conveyances, all for nominal consideration, were made by Cusipag with intent to conceal her personal assets and to defeat, hinder, delay or defraud creditors of their lawful damages and costs and is asking the court to declare the conveyances void.
Magno also alleges that Cusipag and her sons had conspired with one another to defeat Cusipag’s actual and potential creditors, including Magno.
But in their statement of defense, Cusipag and her sons deny that the conveyances of any of the three properties were made fraudulently.
Cusipag asserts, with respect to the family home, that her late husband, Luisito, transferred his interest in the family home to her in 1991 in full satisfaction of his obligation for child support, and that there was an “understanding” between them that the family home was to be held by Cusipag for the children’s benefit until such time as legal title was transferred to them, according to court filings.
Cusipag further asserts, with respect to the two rental condos, that her sons had made “cash payments” to her in exchange for beneficial ownership in the condos and that she held title for their benefit only until such time as they were able to take over the duties of managing them.
The case remains outstanding. None of the allegations by either party have been proven in court.
The case, originally scheduled to be heard on February 3, 2020, has been adjourned to mid-September, 2020.
In the Enverga case, a similar fraudulent conveyance action was brought by Sen. Enverga against Cusipag and her sons. However, the proceeding ended after Cusipag voluntarily paid the monies owed to Enverga in a settlement that was reached before the Senator suddenly died on November 15, 2018.
Magno, a former lawyer in the Philippines, is representing himself. The defendants are represented by the law firm of Wagner Sidlofsky LLP.