Hong Kong-listed Landing International Development Ltd has revealed it will look to find a new plot of land for its planned integrated resort project in Manila’s Entertainment City precinct after formally receiving notice that a previous land lease deal has been terminated.
Landing revealed late Sunday that it has been served with a letter by Nayong Pilipino Foundation (NPF) confirming that the original lease entered into on 15 March 2018 for the development of its US$1.5 billion IR has been declared void ab initio by the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel, Department of Justice and the Office of the President.
The confirmation letter comes more than a year after the company’s Philippines subsidiary, Landing Resorts Philippines Development Corporation, held a groundbreaking ceremony on the site – located between Solaire Resort & Casino and Okada Manila – in early August 2018. In a remarkable turn of events, it was revealed on the afternoon of the groundbreaking that Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte had in fact fired the entire board of NPF earlier that day, citing what was described as a “grossly disadvantageous” 50-year land lease deal granted to Landing by NPF.
Notably, PAGCOR chair Andrea Domingo – whose office had previously granted Landing a provisional gaming license – was among the dignitaries in attendance at the ground-breaking ceremony.
On Sunday, Landing also revealed that subsequent to the land lease deal now being officially voided, PAGCOR has requested the company submit a proof of ownership or lease of land within 180 days from 10 September 2019 or its provisional license will be either revoked or suspended.
In response, Landing, which owns and operates Jeju Shinhwa World in South Korea, said it “will try to find another piece of land for the development of the integrated resort, and the Company will make further announcement … in case of any update on the project.”
The company is also seeking a refund of money previously paid to NPF under the lease.