Council okays move to allow mayor to negotiate for SRP cases
The Cebu City Council approved a resolution requesting Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña to negotiate and enter into settlements in cases involving the South Road Properties (SRP).
But the resolution, authored by Councilor Dave Tumulak, did not pass through the council without a 30-minute debate that ended with a vote of 9-1 in favor and five absentetions.
The opposition Barug-PDP Laban bloc recommended the amendment of several portions in the resolution.
These include splitting the resolution into two; to conduct an executive session on the proposal; urging Mayor Osmeña to accept the payment of SM and Ayala consortium for the 45-hectare lot they purchased from SRP (which later became a corollary motion but was junked); and questioning the mayor’s legal standing to enter into a settlement in a case involving the council in 2014 and private complainant Romulo Torres.
There are two cases cited on the resolution, and these are the complaints SM and Ayala, as a consortium, lodged against the Cebu City government in 2017, and another filed by Romulo Torres in 2015 that questioned the legality of the public bidding done for the SRP lots.
Opposition Councilors Jocelyn Pesquera, Eduardo Rama Jr., and Raymond Alvin Garcia questioned the mayor’s legal standing on possibly entering into a negotiation in the case filed by Torres.
Rama also reminded the council to determine Osmeña’s stand in order to prevent confusion among possible investors who want to venture in SRP.
“We should know the stand of the mayor. It’s not wise that we give investors mixed signals. It’s actually doing more harm than good for the city of Cebu,” Rama said.
But last Saturday, Osmeña told reporters that he is not keen into entering any compromise in cases involving SRP by saying that doing so would raise suspicions that it is a profiteering scheme.
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