Rama on court’s decision on Compania Maritima dispute: It’s not over ’till it’s over
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Regional Trial Court Branch 10 in Cebu City granted the complaint filed by the Cebu Port Authority (CPA) for quieting of title involving the disputed Compania Maritima.
However, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said the legal battle is not yet over.
“It’s not over until it’s over,” Rama said in an interview with CDN Digital.
“My legal team will be taking over again and continuously (do) what they believe should be pursued, then I will be briefed, and we will have our final position,” the mayor told CDN Digital in a phone interview on Thursday, June 8, 2023.
Likewise, Cebu2World (C2W) deputy general manager Lydwena Eco, in a statement sent to CDN Digital, said that even if the recent court decision affects the ongoing Carbon Market redevelopment project, she believes that the Puso Village component of the project could not be taken down without final and executory order from the court.
“Considering Megawide nor C2W is not a party to the case, we defer to the city on the next legal steps and recourse. To my knowledge, however, the decision is not yet final and executory. Given this, I believe that Puso Village can’t be taken down without final and executory order from the court,” Eco said.
C2W is the subsidiary of the Megawide Construction Corp. undertaking the Carbon Market redevelopment project.
In a 22-page decision penned by Judge Soliver Peras and rendered last June 5, the court declared that Compania Maritima premises are within the Baseport of Cebu, as defined under Executive Order 448 series of 1975.
In the decision, the court also “declare the Republic of the Philippines as the beneficial owner of the Compania Maritima premises, including the newly reclaimed lands within the territorial jurisdiction of CPA, as it forms part of the Port of Cebu.”
The court also directed the issuance of a final writ of injunction.
Meanwhile, CPA spokesperson Mary Knoll Bolasa said that with this case development, the CPA can already proceed with its development plans for Compania Maritima premises.
“Now that the cloud surrounding the ownership of the Compania Maritima premises has been legally dissipated, the CPA will proceed with the development of the said premises in preparation for the construction therein of modern port facilities aimed at augmenting its port operations, and in pursuance of its mandate and commitment to providing safe, efficient, and effective port services to the public,” Bolasa said.
Last December 2022, the RTC Branch 1o granted the petition for a writ of Preliminary Injunction filed by the CPA. The city government sought its reversal by filing a 57-page petition before the Court of Appeals in April 2023.
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