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Cebu BRT tussle: Gwen says Capitol owns lots along Osmeña Boulevard

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | March 07,2024 - 10:47 AM

Cebu BRT Capitol

LOOK: A glimpse of the Cebu Provincial Capitol amidst the construction of a bus station for the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (CBRT) project along Osmeña Boulevard. CDN Digital photo | Pia Piquero

CEBU CITY, Philippines — As far as the Cebu Provincial government is concerned, they rightfully owned the lots along Osmeña Boulevard.

This is the latest round of squabble among present and former officials of the Cebu City government and the Capitol over the construction of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) along Osmeña Boulevard.

READ: Rama on settling CBRT dispute with Capitol: ‘Why should I?’

Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia on Wednesday, March 6, responded to claims made by former Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña that the latter’s family owned several properties in Barangay Capitol-Site, including portions of Osmeña Boulevard.

But according to the governor, the provincial government still held the titles of the lots in question, adding that the land-swap deal with Cebu Heights Inc. in the 1930s turned out problematic.

“Kaning Capitolyo nga compound padung entire Osmeña Boulevard lakip and entire Fuente Rotunda kani nga mga titles naa sa pangalan sa Cebu Provincial government,” said Garcia.

(The Capitol compound going to the entire Osmeña Boulevard including the entire Fuente Rotunda the titles of these areas are under the name of the Cebu Provincial government.)

READ: Tomas Osmeña threatens to sue Gwen over stoppage of CBRT works

While not mentioning any names, she added that the land-swap with Cebu Heights Inc., that involved properties along Osmeña Boulevard and in Barangay Banilad, became controversial when it was discovered that former governor Sergio ‘Sergio’ Osmeña Jr. served as the governor of Cebu and at the same time, the president of Cebu Heights Inc.

“So, make my day,” Garcia said.

The Capitol remained adamant on its stance to stop the construction of the BRT over heritage reasons, a move that earned the ire of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and Osmeña.

READ: The transformative impact of infrastructure on Philippine industrial real estate

Osmeña, who is credited as the brains behind the Cebu BRT, recently threatened to sue Garcia if she continued with calls to halt civil works of the P17-billion mass transport project.

Garcia, in response, made snide comments on Wednesday.

“Panungog lang. Panungog lang kay ganahan kaayo ko anang dunay mga nangasuko nga seryoso gyud kaayo. Aslum na kaayo og mga nawong,” she said.

(This is just a tease. I like to tease especially if there are those who got angry, who are very serious about it. Their faces are sour.)

The governor also warned those who challenged her decision to ‘get their facts straight.’

“Don’t make yawyaw. Before you get the facts straight. Tan-awa, na foot in mouth disease. That’s a further warning sa kaning lain pud ni entry. Gusto baya daw to siya makig vice mayor nako, kung mudagan ko og pagka-mayor,” said Garcia.

(Don’t nag. Before you get the facts straight. Look, you have the foot in mouth disease. That’s a further warning to the other one who made an entry. He really wanted to be a vice mayor to me, if I will run for mayor.)

On the other hand, the League of Municipalities in Cebu (LMP-Cebu) backed the Capitol on its calls to halt the construction of the BRT.

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TAGS: BRT, Cebu City, Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia

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