Withdrawal of declaratory relief petition on SRP lot sale to consortium mulled

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio July 12,2019 - 05:50 PM


CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City Legal office is considering withdrawing from court the request of the previous administration to void the sale of the 45-hectare South Road Properties (SRP) to the SM-Ayala Consortium.

According to Lawyer Rey Gealon, city legal officer, the case filed by the previous administration was being reviewed to find out whether the petition for declaratory relief to declare as void the Negotiated Sales on Installment executed on the SRP in 2015 actually held any merit.

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

“The City Legal Office cannot be bounded for any case filed without merit or without any ground whatsoever because it may reflect (on the) quality of the lawyers composing the office,” said Gealon.

The case was filed with the approval of 14th City Council dominated by the  Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan councilors (BO-PK), allies of former Mayor Tomas Osmeña.

New Mayor Edgardo Labella in earlier statements said he would honor the sales of the 45-hectare property to the SM-Ayala Consortium as this would bring more income for the city and jobs for the residents.

Gealon said that if the case filed by the previous administration on behalf of the city would be without merit, then they would withdraw the case.

Early this year, the Court of Appeals (CA) 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.

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

Gealon said that the decision of the CA affirmed the sale was legal.

Despite the ruling of the CA, the administration of Osmeña continued to file a declaratory relief to the Regional Trial Court Branch 10.

On Tuesday, July 9, Judge Soliver Peras wrote a letter to the 15th City Council expressing his inhibition to hear the case. This letter was deferred by the council to the City Legal Office.

“We will file to the Sangguniang Panlungsod our recommendations to withdraw the case since it was initiated by them through a resolution authorizing the City Legal Office to file a declaratory relief case. I believe the jurisprudence of the case points towards that direction, that we will withdraw the case,” said Gealon./dbs

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TAGS: Gealon, legal, office, properties, relief, road, south, SRP, withdrawal

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