Garcia: Petition for declaratory relief filed by Osmeña is bound to fail
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Majority Floor Leader Raymond Alvin Garcia is not at all worried of the petition for declaratory relief which former mayor Tomas Osmeña filed to stop the negotiated sale of 45-hectares of the South Road Properties (SRP).
Garcia said that the petition that was filed before the Regional Trial Courts in Cebu City earlier today, September 3, is bound to “fail.”
He likened Osmeña’s case to an earlier petition filed by Romulo Torres which sought to void the SRP lot sale made in 2015 by then mayor Michael Rama.
The case was ordered dismissed by the Court of Appeals in May 21, 2019.
“The only difference here is (that) the complainant (now) is former mayor Osmeña, but it is the same case and is bound to fail,” Garcia said in an interview.
Unless a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) or a preliminary injunction is issued by the RTC, Garcia said there is no legal impediment for the city government to proceed to with the sale of the 45-hectare property to the SM-Ayala and Filinvest consortium.
The sale will earn City Hall P16 billion.
“The mere filing of a case in court cannot stop the city from using its own funds,” said Garcia.
The only time that the city will stop using proceeds from the lot sale is when the court says so.
Garcia said that they could not also forgo use of the proceeds from the lot sales because they needed it to fund Supplemental Budget 2 amounting to P2.5 billion. The nature of the budget is “urgent” because this includes the appropriation for the senior citizens assistance for the months of June to August.
City Legal Officer Rey Gealon said that the administration of Mayor Edgardo Labella is prepared for a legal battle to make sure that City Hall is able to keep the P16 billion revenue.
“Rest assured that these allegations and arguments will be sufficiently countered by the City Legal Office,” said Gealon. | dcb
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