Osmeña, in his complaint, said there are several defects on the Negotiated Sale on Installment executed on August 7, 2015 which involved the sale of the 26.3-hectare property to the consortium of Ayala Land, Cebu Holdings Inc. and SM Prime Holdings at P10 billion and the 19.2-hectare property sold to Filinvest Land Inc. at P6.7 billion.
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Court tells city execs to answer Tomas’ complaint
Jean Marvette A. Demecillo (The Freeman) - September 18, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Regional Trial Court (Branch 10) has directed Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella, the City Council, and representatives of the giant firms that bought 45.5 hectares at the South Road Properties to answer the complaint filed by former mayor Tomas Osmeña.

Their failure to answer the complaint within 15 days may mean the court may grant the relief Osmeña is asking for to stop the sale of the lots.

Osmeña filed a petition for declaratory relief with prayer for Temporary Restraining Order and Writ of Preliminary Injunction against Mayor Edgardo Labella, Sangguniang Panlungsod of the City of Cebu, SM Prime Holdings, Inc., Ayala Land, Inc.,  Cebu Holdings, Inc., Filinvest Land, Inc., Filinvest Alabang, Inc.,Cyberzone Properties, Inc., Anesy Holdings Corporation, Igold Holdings Corporation, and Betterfield Phils. Corp.

“You are hereby directed within 15 days after services if this summons upon you, to file with this Court and serve on the plaintiff your answer to the complaint, copy of which is attached, together with the annexes,” reads portion of the summon signed by Clerk of Court V Atty. Yvonne Epondulan.

Councilor Raymond Alvin Garcia referred a copy of the session that reached the Council to the City Legal Office.

The Council also authorized the City Legal Office to answer on its behalf.

Sought for comment, City Attorney Rey Gealon said his office is ready to answer the complaint.

Gealon believes that the petition for declaratory relief filed by Osmeña and former prosecutor Romulo Torres have the same arguments.

Gealon pointed out that the RTC and the Court of Appeals already dismissed and denied the petition of Torres.

“No doubt at all that this petition for declaratory relief will be dismissed by the court,” Gealon told reporters.

Gealon said the courts have already ruled in favor of the city government, stressing that the sale of the 45.5 hectares was valid and legal.

Gealon added that the court exhaustively pointed out that the assailed resolution authorizing then mayor and now Vice Mayor Michael Rama to dispose of the lots at SRP was the implementing resolution of the ordinance protecting the sale of the SRP.

Osmeña, in his complaint, said there are several defects on the Negotiated Sale on Installment executed on August 7, 2015 which involved the sale of the 26.3-hectare property to the consortium of Ayala Land, Cebu Holdings Inc. and SM Prime Holdings at P10 billion and the 19.2-hectare property sold to Filinvest Land Inc. at P6.7 billion.

Among the cited “defects” were; there was no authority given for the City of Cebu to enter into the Negotiated Sales on Installment; the City Council passed a resolution before holding in abeyance the bidding process of the SRP lots; the City Council passed resolution deferring further action on the sale of the lots; the Committee on Awards failed to comply with the standard government procedures for the posting of the public bidding in a public place. (FREEMAN)

TOMAS OSMEñA
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