Cebu City withdraws P3.5 B consigned payment for SRP lot sale
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City government already withdrew from the courts at least P3.5 billion in consigned payment from the sale of 45-hectares of the South Road Properties (SRP).
City Legal Officer Rey Gealon said that Branch 12 of the Regional Trial Court in Cebu City has allowed the release of the amount which represents the second and third or final installment of the P16 billion negotiated sale of the SRP lot.
Gealon said that he negotiated with the SM-Ayala and Filinvest consortium to allow the withdrawal of the consigned payment because Mayor Edgardo Labella was willing to accept the amount.
“This is a victory for the City of Cebu. Imagine the programs and projects that would be comprehensively implemented out of this almost P4 billion for the good of the people of Cebu,” said Gealon.
“This merely shows that apart from law and jurisprudence, God is truly with us. God is with the Mayor. God is with the Cebuanos,” he added.
The money was deposited with the RTC after former mayor Tomas Osmeña refused to accept the P3.5 billion payment from the consortium. The amount represented the final payment for the 45-hectare SRP lot which they purchase during the administration of former mayor Michael Rama.
Osmeña did not approve of the negotiated sale which he referred to as illegal.
The 14 Sangguniang Panglungsod approved on June 2019 a resolution which authorized Osmeña to file a petition for declaratory relief.
But the consortium insisted on making the final payment in fulfillment of their obligation to the Cebu City government, the reason why they decided to consign or deposit payment with the RTC.
When Labella assumed office in July, the 15th Sangguniang Panglungsod passed a resolution that authorized him to withdraw the petition for declaratory relief which Osmeña filed.
The City Legal Office also negotiated for the withdrawal of the consigned payment so the city government can already use the money.
Labella said in an earlier interview that he intends to use the P3.5 million consigned payment to fund Supplemental Budget 2 that is now pending with the City Council. | dcb
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