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Tom: Only SC can make city pay P32M

By: Jose Santino S. Bunachita October 04,2016 - 09:56 PM
 Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña

Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña

It will take a court order from the Supreme Court (SC) before the Cebu City government pays the P32 million it owes to the private landfill in Consolacion town, Mayor Tomas Osmeña said.

He said a representative of Asian Energy Systems Corp. visited his office yesterday to collect the payment for the tipping fees of the city’s garbage dumped into the landfill in Barangay Polog, Consolacion for the first half of 2016.

Osmeña said he will remain firm on this decision not to pay since the city doesn’t have a valid contract with the private landfill owner.

“I told him you go ahead and sue me. It’s okay. I recommended it (filing of case). That’s the only way you can get it. I’m not going to pay,” he told reporters.

He said only when the case reaches the SC and the SC orders the city to pay will he pay.

Osmeña recalled that he was caught in a similar situation in his first year as Cebu City mayor in 1988 in which he entered into a compromise agreement with H. Franco Construction Company Inc.

The company filed a collection case against the city for the construction of an abattoir they undertook as winning bidder.

But then the Commission on Audit (COA), during a pre-audit of the agreement, advised the city not to pay the contractor the P1.5 million agreed settlement amount. The mayor followed COA.

But the Regional Trial Court then garnished the amount from the city to pay to the contractor. This was later on disallowed by COA. Osmeña questioned this all the way to the Supreme Court but he lost.

“To this day, I’m one of those that owe the city government. It’s not my transaction. I didn’t even sign the check. I never touched the money. I acted in complete good faith because there’s a case, improvements have been done,” he said.

“This guy (Asian Energy) has no contract. And he’s trying to collect (P32) million. So, sorry. I’m not going to do it,” he said.

The Court of Appeals (CA) asked Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera to correct some of the documents he attached in the petition for a Writ of Kalikasan he earlier filed against Osmeña.

The petition sought to stop the city’s continued operation of the Inayawan landfill despite several recommendations against it.

The CA found out that all the affidavits from the witnesses for the petition, as well as other documentary evidence attached to the petition, were only photocopies and not original documents.

Garganera was given 10 days to correct this. If he doesn’t do so, the CA will outright dismiss the petition. He said he received the order last Friday.

Garganera said he referred the matter to his lawyers.

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