Cebu City to pay P57M for lot affected by South Road Properties
Jean Marvette A. Demecillo (The Freeman) - October 11, 2016 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu City government will pay at least P57 million to expropriate a private property that has been affected by the development at the South Road Properties, Mayor Tomas Osmeña said yesterday.

This after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Roque Ting who owns close to half a hectare lot affected by the reclamation project.

"We will have to pay. If not, they are going to garnish it… or not, we will owe more," Osmeña told reporters.

He said he may include the amount in the proposed Annual Budget next year so that the city will not be paying the six percent interest per annum.

The Regional Trial Court-7 Branch 21 has issued a Service of Writ of Execution that the city government received last September 23, demanding for City Hall to pay P33,700,000 for the value of Ting's property; P3,912,500 for the value of two warehouses and rest houses demolished; P60,000 for attorney's fees; and P30,000 for litigation expenses.

The amount shall earn six percent per annum as interest rate from the date of judgment, which was on January 3, 2008, said Sheriff Constancio Alimurung.

Last August 23, 2016, the Land Bank of the Philippines informed the city that it received a Notice of Garnishment and has to temporarily put on hold the P57 million from the city's account to pay the expropriation.

In another letter dated September 6, LBP Branch Manager Vivian Bisnar requested Osmeña to seek for a Temporary Restraining Order and/or a writ of preliminary injunction to stop the implementation of the garnishment.

But Osmeña said the city should pay for the garnishment otherwise the amount will become bigger and bigger.

He blamed former mayor Michael Rama and Councilor Jocelyn Pesquera who insisted on not paying the amount years ago.

"Ego-tripping man si Joy Pesquera and Mike Rama. Now, who pays the price? Will they pay for it? No. Nagpa-grandstanding sila," Osmeña said.

Osmeña said he is doing "damage control" for Rama's actions, citing the Rallos case, 93-1 issue, and other issues Rama dealt with.

Osmeña said he is still evaluating the case of Vicente Rallos whose lot in Barangay Sambag I was expropriated by the city government to open a road several years ago.

"When you look at these incidents, it shows how irresponsible and how incompetent he

(Rama) is as a lawyer, and as a manager, and worst of all as a mayor," he said.

Rama and Pesquera stand by their decision with Rama saying it is Osmeña who is "ego-tripping."

He said he will just leave the matter to Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella.

Pesquera, for her part, said losing the case is the "failure" of Osmeña's legal team.

"Why blame me when the truth is the land claimed by Roque Ting is part of the sea?" she said in a text message to The FREEMAN.

City Attorney Joseph Bernaldez said the previous members of legal team are handling the case.

"It would be prudent and wise for the city government to settle it before it gets bigger and bigger," he told reporters. (FREEMAN)

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