Opposition councilors intervene in sale of SRP lots
CEBU CITY, Philippines—The opposition councilors of the Cebu City Council from the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK) have filed in court an intervention for the withdrawal of a petition for declaratory relief for the sale of a 45-hectare lot at the South Road Properties (SRP).
Councilors Nestor Archival, Leah Japson, Jessica Resch, Joy Augustus Young, Alvin Dizon, Eugenio Gabuya, Jr., and Raul Alcoseba have written to the court, raising concerns on the withdrawal of the petition for declaratory relief against the SRP sale by the City Legal Office following the decision of the council majority to withdraw the case.
The councilors requested in their joint affidavit for a leave of court, or permission of the court to intervene in the withdrawal of the case.
They cited that they “have legal interest in the matter of litigation…in seeking a ruling on the invalidity or ineffectiveness in the Questioned contracts.”
The opposition councilors argued that the sale of the SRP in 2015 was not legal because then mayor, now Vice Mayor Michael Rama, was not authorized to enter into a contract of sale with the SM-Ayal Consortium.
“Note that some of the intervenors were members of the city council that mandated then Mayor Rama not to sign the contracts with the SM-Ayala Consortium and Filinvest Group (in 2015). Despite the city council resolution telling then Mayor Rama not to sign the contracts, he still signed them.”
“That was an affront to the authority of the city council at that time. Intervenors would like to make sure their rights are respected by intervening in the case filed by former mayor Tomas Osmeña,” said Lawyer Fatimah Young, the legal counsel for the intervenors.
It was during the administration of Osmeña when the City Council, dominated by BO-PK, asked the City Legal to file a petition for declaratory relief and preliminary injunction against the sales.
In the administration of Mayor Edgardo Labella, the new council, dominated by member of the Barug-PDP Laban, chose to withdraw the case.
“Intervenors are firm on the matter: the city council through a resolution told then Mayor Rama not to sign the contracts. Two days after the passage of the resolution, Rama signed the contracts,” said Young. /bmjo
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