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Pending the resolution of the case filed by Tinago barangay captain Joel Garganera seeking the court’s help to stop the sale of the South Road Properties, Mayor Tomas Osmeña has announced that he will sell more than 30 hectares of lots to pay for the loan from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation.

Osmeña said the SRP lots that he wants to sell are located to the right side of the Mambaling access road.

The mayor expects the city to earn up to P3 billion from the lots if these are sold at P10,000 per square meter.

Osmeña said there are many investors who are interested to join the bidding.

The city’s debt from the JBIC that was used for the reclamation project has already ballooned to more than P5 billion.  The city is setting aside P1.7 million everyday to pay for such an obligation.

Osmeña said while the city has a huge debt due to its reclamation project, the SRP has 295 hectares of land that may rake in billions of pesos if these are sold.

But Garganera, who is allied with the opposition leaders in Cebu City, argued that the SRP lots are still not owned by the city because when President Gloria Arroyo issued a proclamation ordering the transfer of the ownership to Cebu City, she made it without congressional authority.

This prompted Garganera to file a civil case before the court in order to clear the issue.

Osmeña flew to Manila on Sunday to see Tony Meer, who used to be the lawyer of former senator Serging Osmeña Jr. and an expert of issues regarding reclamation projects, to get ideas on how to handle the case.  — Rene U. Borromeo/BRP

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