Developer to return leased lot to Capitol
Lorraine L. Ecarma (The Freeman) - August 14, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Cebu Provincial Board has deferred the authority for Governor Gwendolyn Garcia to sue a property developer renting a province-owned lot after the company’s executive expressed willingness to give up its contract with the previous administration and surrender the property.

The board was supposed to discuss yesterday a resolution sponsored by Provincial Board Member John Ismael Borgonia authorizing Garcia to "file the appropriate legal action against Innoland Development Corporation."

But Borgonia said they decided to defer his resolution after Charles Vincent Ong, Chief Operating Officer of Innoland, sent a letter to the provincial government on August 9 expressing the company’s intention to give up possession of the property.

"I am taking this opportunity to inform the Province of Cebu that we are surrendering possession of the property in question," wrote Ong.

Borgonia explained that his resolution was rendered moot and academic because of Innoland’s decision to return the property.

"Atong gi-defer ang pag-authorize sa atong governor to file a case kay ningtubag na man sila ug willing na man sila to surrender the property peacefully back to the province," Borgonia said.

Last month, during its inventory on government properties sold, rented and donated by the previous administration, the provincial government discovered an “anomalous and illegal” contract of lease between then Governor Hilario Davide III and Innoland Development Corporation.

Davide, who is now vice governor, reportedly sidestepped on the prescribed procurement process and entered a contract of lease with Innoland without authority from the Provincial Board for the province’s 849 square meter lot located at Jose Maria del Mar St within Cebu IT Park.

To add, the previous administration rented out the lot for P50 per square meter which is a low price for a prime government property.

Atty. Marino Matrinquilla, Cebu Provincial Legal Management Consultant, in an interview said the province is planning to file administrative and criminal cases against Davide and a criminal case against Innoland.

Innoland executives intend to meet with the Capitol officials to discuss the terms of surrendering the property and pulling out their equipment from the government lot.

Also part of the property to be reclaimed by the province is the P25,000,000 showroom erected by Innoland on the government lot.

"Basically kung atong basehan ang civil code, ang probinsya na ang makapanag-iya ato," Borgonia said.

Article 445, Section 2, Chapter 3 of Book II of the Civil Code of the Philippines states that "whatever is built, planted or sown on the land of another and the improvements or repairs made thereon, belong to the owner of the land…"

The owner in this case is the Cebu Province, Borgonia added.

According to him, this will somehow make up for the meager lease paid by Innoland to the province for their occupation and operations on the government lot. (FREEMAN)

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