P316 billion project at SRP to break ground today

P316 billion project at SRP to break ground today

Mary Ruth R. Malinao (The Freeman) - January 29, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — As the Cebu City government and the giant consortium of SM Prime Holdings Inc. and Ayala Land Inc. break ground for the P316-billion project at the South Road Properties today, former mayor Tomas Osmeña’s camp has warned of the project’s “serious legal obstacles.”

Lawyer Amando Virgil Ligutan, Osmeña’s legal counsel, said the project is not yet free from legal questions. He said that there are still pending cases in court and vowed that more are still to come.

“Some cases were just filed recently; and some more have yet to be filed. No businessman in his right mind will invest in a project that is legally flawed from its inception,” said Ligutan.

According to him, Mayor Edgardo Labella is “promising the moon in order to downplay the serious legal obstacles to the SM-Ayala project.”

The P316-billion project on the 26-hectare property at the SRP is expected to generate over two million jobs in the next 20 years. It is also eyed to generate billions in business and real property taxes for the city.

Earlier, the City Legal Office rendered an opinion that the project can already proceed since all the cases filed by the opposition in a bid to stop the project were already dismissed by the Court of Appeals.

City Legal Officer Rey Gealon dismissed Ligutan’s warning.

“Their rehash arguments were already waylaid in courts, so to pounce on those same arguments again would be overkill. The city's strong legal position on the matter always wins the day versus their empty rhetoric,” said Gealon.  FPL (FREEMAN)

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