Barug dad on petition for declaratory relief on SRP lot sale: Bound to fail

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio June 06,2019 - 07:48 PM

The South Road Properties (SRP) | CDN FILE PHOTO

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Partido Barug outgoing Councilor Joel Garganera said the Cebu City Legal Office filing a petition for declaratory relief to declare as void the Negotiated Sales on Installment executed on the South Road Properties (SRP) in 2015 is bound to fail.

Garganera said that since the Court of Appeals (CA), on April 30, had denied the petition of a certain Romulo Torres who argued the sale of the 45 hectare property to the SM-Ayala consortium in 2015 was illegal, another petition to void the sale will only become moot and academic.

“The Court of Appeals have already given their decision. They affirmed the sale was legal. This (case) will no longer stand, it’s moot and academic,” said Garganera, a critic of outgoing Mayor Tomas Osmeña.

Read more: CA 18th division: Sale of 45-hectare SRP lot to FLI, SM-Ayala Consortium was legal

Garganera said that the City Council could not take the role of the judge and decide that the sale was invalid because only the court could do so.

On Tuesday, June 4, the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK) councilors approved of a petition asking the City Legal Office to file a petition of declaratory relief to declare as void from the beginning the sale of the 42.5 hectare lot in the SRP, which was sold to the SM-Ayala Consortium in 2015.

Barug Councilor Jocelyn Pesquera openly objected to the resolution authored by BO-PK Councilor Sisinio Andales for the declaratory relief.

She said that this case had been tackled several times in the council, and the CA’s decision affirms the sale done during the administration of then Mayor Michael Rama.

Other Barug councilors including Councilors Raymond Garcia, Pastor Alcover, Jr., and Garganera also objected to the resolution.

They were outnumbered by the majority party, BO-PK, who approved of the resolution 9-4.

Councilors Andales, Margarita Osmeña, Jessica Resch, Jerry Guardo, Eugenio Gabuya, Jr., Alvin Arcilla, Mary Ann de los Santos, Joy Augustus Young, and Franklyn Ong approved the resolution.

Garganera said that even with such request to the City Legal Office, this most likely would not hold ground as the current city attorney would leave on June 30 as he was coterminous with the outgoing mayor’s term.

Furthermore, incoming Mayor Edgardo Labella will most likely honor the sales and even approve the development plan provided by the consortium, which Osmeña refuses to approve.

“Mayor Labella wants this to happen. This is what the people are waiting for. This will garner thousands of jobs for the Cebuanos,” said Garganera.

This is not the first time, the current city administration tried to declare void the sale of that particular SRP lot.

On May 28, the administration councilors approved a resolution detailing the supposed “defects” of the sale.

The resolution said that the City did not actually have authority to enter into the Negotiated Sales on Installment and the Committee on Awards failed to comply with the standard government procedures for the posting of the public bidding in a public place.

Prior to that, on May 21, the administration councilors also passed two resolutions against the lot sale.

The first resolution recognized the authority and validity of the compromise agreement entered into by Osmeña and Torres who sued the members of the City Council in 2015 over the 45-hectare lot sale.

The second resolution declared and confirmed the Negotiated Sales on Installment in 2015 signed by the SM-Ayala Consortium and the Filinvest Group may be deemed “void ad initio” for lack of prior approval and authority from the city Council./dbs

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TAGS: BO-PK, declaratory, Garganera, negotiated, properties, relief, road, sales on installment, sm-ayala, south, SRP, void

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