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Capitol still mediating IT Park wall dispute; TRO ends Nov. 16

By: Ador Vincent S. Mayol November 14,2014 - 01:58 AM

Concrete culverts are used as planters  along the perimeter wall on part of Geonzon Street in the I.T. Park. Behind it is the soon-to-be opened  Cyberzone BPO complex of Filinvest Land Inc. and the Province of Cebu. (CDN PHOTO/ JUNJIE MENDOZA)

Concrete culverts are used as planters along the perimeter wall on part of Geonzon Street in the I.T. Park. Behind it is the soon-to-be opened Cyberzone BPO complex of Filinvest Land Inc. and the Province of Cebu. (CDN PHOTO/ JUNJIE MENDOZA)

The Cebu provincial government is still trying to mediate the conflict between Filinvest Land Inc. and  Cebu Property Ventures and Development Corp. (CPVDC) over issues of access and a  concrete wall at the Cebu I.T. Park.

“The Province wants to resolve the issues among the parties because it has  an interest in both  CPVDC  and Filinvest,” said Provincial Administrator Mark Tolentino  in yesterday’s  resumption of the court hearing on a petition for injunction filed by CPVDC.

An extended 20-day  Temporary Restraining Order issued by  Executive Judge Soliver Peras of the Regional Trial Court in Cebu City ends on Sunday, Nov. 16.

CPVDC, a subsidiary of  Ayala Land Inc, filed the petition seeking to stop the Cebu city government and Filinvest  from demolishing  the wall on W. Geonzon Street, insisting  that the perimeter wall was “private property”.

Tolentino, who was subpoenaed as a witness of Filinvest, said Cebu province was a shareholder in CPVDC and at the same time has a Build-Transfer-Operate  contract with Filinvest to establish a business process outsourcing complex on the  the former site of the Cebu city jail, a province-owned lot.

“That’s why the province is talking separately with both firms. We will try to have the parties come to an agreement,” Tolentino told the judge.

Tearing down the wall would give free access to traffic and new locators heading to the joint Filinvest-province project.

In a separate interview, Filinvest vice president for the Visayas Allan Alfon told Cebu Daily News, the formal opening of the Cyberzone scheduled at the end of November will push through regardless of the outcome of the court case.

He said Filinvest top officers from Manila, Gov. Hilario Davide III and Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama  would attend  the opening.

Last month, CPVDC and Asiatown I.T. Park Association Inc., which is the organization of locators in the I.T. Park , represented by its president Francis Monera and  Nerissa Josef, filed a petition in court, seeking an injunction order to stop any demolition of the wall on  W. Geonzon Street.

Named defendants in the petition were the City of Cebu; Megawide Construction Corp.; Filinvest; Engr. Nazareno Abalos, project manager of Filinvest’s Cebu Cyberzone Project; and Alfon.

A  72-hour temporary restraining order was extended to 20 days.

Tolentino said it would be difficult for Filinvest to open its Cyberzone if  the wall, which is in front of the complex,  is not removed. But he emphasized that the province   does not favor any demolition  by force.

“Demolition by force is not the intention of the province. There has to be a mutual consent of the parties,” said Tolentino who was presentedby  Filinvest lawyer Edgar Gica.

Gica said Filinvest has the “right to passage” and that CPDVC’s concrete wall has to be demolished.

The lawyer said Tolentino was presented to prove Filinvest’s claim that  the province stands to lose or benefit from this project and that thousands of jobs are involved. “However, the (project’s) contractor could not proceed if access to the property continues to be denied,” Gica said.

CPVDC lawyer Teodoro Almase said his client’s right as a private property owner has to be protected.“Despite ongoing negotiations among parties, we were compelled to file a case in court because the Cebu City government kept  threatening to demolish the wall owned by CPVDC,” he said.

Judge Peras will continue hearing the case today.

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TAGS: Ayala, Capitol, Cebu Provincial Government, CPVDC, Filinvest, it park

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