Court junks Waterfront TRO bid
THE Cebu City Regional Trial Court denied the motion of a hotel to restrain the Cebu City government from selling its property along Salinas Drive to another hotel.
This developed as Mayor Michael Rama asked Waterfront Hotel to double the purchase offer of P35,000 per square meter from the Hotel of Asia Inc.
Judge Alexander Acosta of the Regional Trial Court Branch 9 found no sufficient basis to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the city government and Hotel of Asia Inc.
Waterfront Cebu City Casino Hotel Inc. earlier filed a civil case for certiorari and prohibition against the Cebu City government and Hotel of Asia regarding the sale of a property adjacent to the five-star hotel in barangay Lahug.
Named defendants in the case are Mayor Rama, the committee on awards represented by lawyer Jose Daluz III, the Cebu City Council represented by Vice Mayor Edgar Labella, and Hotel Asia.
Hotel Asia, the winning bidder of the lot, has paid a 50-percent down payment of the purchase price to the city government but the deal has yet to be sealed because the Cebu City Council has yet to authorize Rama to sign the sale contract.
Waterfront Hotel, which objected to the sale, proposed a “long-term” lease of the Cebu City-owned lot located infront of it. Its chief engineer, Vicente Lazaro, said they need the lot to set up air-conditioned tents which they could use as venue for concerts, fashion shows, exhibits, bazaars, pet shows, and motor shows.
Rama wants City Hall lawyers to explore the possibility of filing counter-charges against Waterfront Hotel. He earlier said that the Waterfront management should have legal basis to charge him and other city officials.
He also asked hotel management to double the purchase offer of P35,000 per square meter of the Hotel Asia Inc. that won the bidding. If the lot value is doubled, this would address the request of Governor Hilario Davide III for a 50-percent share of the proceeds of the sale of the 2,000 sq. meter lot which the provincial government used to own.
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