Plan to sell Japan properties bucked
Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, chairman of the House constitutional amendments committee, filed Resolution No. 1220 calling on Malacañang to stop the plan to sell the assets in Tokyo and Kobe acquired by the government from Japan under a World War II reparations agreement in May 1956.
pna.gov.ph/Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez Facebook page
Plan to sell Japan properties bucked
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - September 25, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A resolution has been filed in Congress seeking to stop the reported plan to sell four Philippine government properties in Japan.

Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, chairman of the House constitutional amendments committee, filed Resolution No. 1220 calling on Malacañang to stop the plan to sell the assets in Tokyo and Kobe acquired by the government from Japan under a World War II reparations agreement in May 1956.

Rodriguez filed the measure following reports on the plan to sell the properties located in the Roppongi and Nampedai districts in Tokyo and two others in Kobe for monetary gain, supposedly to raise funds for the pension of war veterans.

He cited the recent revelation of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. of the alleged plot to use the proceeds from the proposed sale as a “retirement fund of last resort” for some government officials “who’ve run through the budgets of their own agencies.”

Rodriguez said the Supreme Court had already ruled “that the Roppongi property is correctly classified under the Civil Code as properly belonging to the state and intended for some public service” after previous attempts to unload the assets.

He said the tribunal also declared that the Roppongi asset “is valuable not so much because of the inflated prices fetched by real property in Tokyo but more so because of its symbolic value to all Filipinos – veterans and civilians alike.”

“Whether or not the Roponggi and related properties will eventually be sold is a policy determination where both the President and Congress must concur. Considering the properties’ importance and value, the laws on conversion and disposition of property of public dominion must be faithfully followed,” the SC ruling stated.

“It is clear in the decision of the Supreme Court that any such conveyance must be authorized and approved by a law enacted by Congress, and that it requires executive and legislative concurrence,” Rodriguez argued.

He added that more than the monetary value, the importance of the country’s war reparation assets in Japan “is their symbolic value to all Filipinos.”

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