Mandaue council wants probe on reclaimed lot sale
The Mandaue City Council called on the City Legal Office to review the city government’s sale of 35,821 square meters of foreshore land to the Ouano family in Barangay Looc.
The council passed a resolution that called for a review of the city government’s sale of the reclaimed lot at P1,791,050 or about P50 per square meter to E.C. Ouano Development and Management Corp. (Ecodemcor).
Acting City Assessor Richard Flores said the lot’s market value now is projected at least P12,000 per square meters. Vice Mayor Carlo Fortuna said the inquiry will determine if the sale was disadvantageous to the city.
The resolution was authored by Councilor Elstone Dabon and co-authored by Councilor Benjamin Basiga who were among those in the council that approved the resolution authorizing then mayor and now Rep. Jonas Cortes of Cebu’s 6th district to sign the deed of sale for the foreshore land and deed of donation for the road lots in September last year.
Ecodemcor, a company owned by Olga Ouano, promised to donate 7,106 sq m road lots to the city. Basiga said he approved the previous resolution in good faith.
“Dabon and I were surprised why it had come to this. Because when this was entered in the council, we did not made comments as we rely on the legal office. All of it were depended to them as these were their job,” Basiga said in Cebuano.
Last Tuesday, the city assessor accompanied State Auditor Flora Taborada of the Commission on Audit (COA) to conduct an examination in the controversial lot in Barangay Looc.
Shortly before the council passed the resolution, a complaint for plunder and graft had been filed against Cortes and other Mandaue City officials at the Ombudsman over the alleged anomalous sale of the reclaimed land.
Mandaue City Councilor and Association of Barangay Captains (ABC) president Ernie Manatad who was also included in the complaint, called the charge as ‘recycled garbage’ and politically motivated.
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