City lawyers draft SRP compromise agreement
The Cebu City Legal Office announced that it is now drafting a memorandum of agreement (MOA) that will allow Mayor Tomas Osmeña to enter into an amicable settlement with a complainant who filed a case against the city in relation to the sale of SRP (South Road Properties) lots.
City Legal Officer, lawyer Joseph Bernaldez, told reporters in a press conference that the MOA is in line with a resolution passed by the Cebu City Council last October 16 that sought to end all legal cases involving the SRP through amicable settlements.
“We are in the process of drafting a MOA between the City of Cebu and the Torres Case. But this is still subject for review before it can be eventually signed,” said Bernaldez.
The city legal officer was referring to the case filed by former Cebu City prosecutor Romulo Torres in 2015 which questioned the legality of the public bidding done for the SRP lots.
Torres asked the court to stop the City Council from appropriating funds using the P8.3 billion down payment received by the city from SM Prime Holdings Inc., Ayala Lands Inc., and Filinvest Lands Inc. — the three developers of the SRP.
The resolution, which sought to end all cases pertaining to the SRP sale, was sponsored by councilors Dave Tumulak and Mary Ann de los Santos, both Osmena political allies under Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK).
It was met with objections by members of the opposition Barug – PDP Laban.
Among the questions raised was Osmeña’s legal standing to enter into a settlement of a case filed at a time when he was not the city’s mayor.
Former Mayor Michael Rama was the city’s chief executive in 2015 when the case was filed by Torres.
But Bernaldez said the resolution that was approved by the council already authorized Osmeña to enter into settlements.
“The mayor, by virtue of the resolution, can now negotiate with that particular case on the basis of this particular resolution,” said Bernaldez.
The MOA being drafted by city lawyers on the case filed by Torres will not involve any monetary considerations, explained Bernaldez.
Osmena, in an earlier interview, was unwilling to enter into settlements on the SRP lots if only to clear suspicions that BOPK was into money-making schemes purportedly to fund next year’s campaign.
The matter on whether or not to settle rests with Osmeña.
“It’s still up to him,” said Bernaldez.
Subscribe to our regional newsletter
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.