Labella: Osmeña can file any case he wants, but city will use SRP sales proceeds
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella said former Mayor, Tomas Osmeña, can file a petition for declaratory relief to void the sales of the 45-hectare South Road Properties (SRP) lot in 2015.
However, Labella said this would not keep the city from using the P16 billion proceeds of the sale to fund the P2.5 billion supplemental budget he had been asking from the City Council.
The mayor said Osmeña had the right to question the legality of the sale, but similar cases had been filed in the past that the court had favored the legality of the sales.
On May 21, 2019, the Court of Appeals (CA) dismissed the appeal of Romulo Torres, who filed a case to stop the Cebu City government from spending the P8.35 billion proceeds from the sale, or the 50 percent downpayment paid by the companies.
Labella said there had been jurisprudence on the case, and he was confident that the court would rule the same on the petition that Osmeña had planned to file.
“We can still use the proceeds of the SRP sales because there is no temporary restraining order (TRO),” said Labella in a phone interview with CDN Digital.
The mayor also said he was not worried that the city executives and the City Council would be prosecuted by the court for using the proceeds of the sale, as claimed by opposition councilors, because as long as the sale is legal, there is no case to worry about.
Opposition Councilor Nestor Archival recently said that if the city would continues to use the proceeds, the City Council headed by Vice Mayor Michael Rama and Labella would answer to the court, for using money from an illegal sale.
Labella said this was the opinion of Archival, but the court would be the lone authority to say otherwise.
The mayor said the proceeds would help fund the projects and services of the city especially for the garbage and traffic problems. /dbs
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