Cebu News

Capitol to eject HPG from ‘donated’ property

Le Phyllis F. Antojado-Orillaneda - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  The provincial government of Cebu is set to file an ejectment case against the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) to recover a 679-square meter prime lot the police unit is currently occupying along Gorordo Avenue in Cebu City.

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia has asked an authority from the Provincial Board to initiate the ejectment case after a negotiation with the HPG officials failed.

The Capitol has asked the HPG to voluntarily vacate the property and offered a 737-square meter relocation site at Sudlon in Barangay Lahug under a usufruct agreement. During a meeting at the Capitol on December 6, Garcia told HPG-7 regional director Niel Francia and HPG-Metro Cebu chief Silvestre Cenia that the provincial government will recover the property donated by then governor Hilario Davide III, who is now incumbent vice governor.

Garcia said the donation in 2018 was defective because it was made without prior approval from the Commission on Audit (COA).  Garcia is asking the Provincial Board, now headed by Davide, to revoke the donation for it was irregularly done.

Out of courtesy, Garcia offered to relocate the HPG to another Capitol-owned property but the offer was allegedly not taken seriously.

“Naa nay yuta, ako na nang gi-offer. Mas dako pa gyud na. You belong there (in Sudlon), not on a highly commercial, very valuable lot,” Garcia told the HPG officials.

According to Garcia, the “onerous donation” has shortchanged the Province of Cebu considering the value of the property that is estimated at P200,000 meter square meter or a total of P135 million.

“Irregular gyud ni. Kinsa guy manghatag og yuta nga pwerteng mahala na na. Nya without any compensation whatsoever to the Province of Cebu, nganhi pa gyud sa syudad,” Garcia said.

 Meanwhile, the Capitol and the Department of National Defense (DND) are considering two properties as potential relocation site of the Visayas Command (VisCom) headquarters.

 Garcia, during a meeting with the DND officials led by Assistant Secretary Emmanuel Anthony Ramos, has agreed to explore the expropriated lots near Camp Lapu-Lapu in Barangay Lahug, Cebu City.  The 12-hectare expropriated lot was given by the national government to DND.

Another potential relocation site the officials are considering is the property in Medellin town in Northern Cebu. The governor wants to fast track the negotiation to start relocating the military headquarters as soon as possible.

VisCom currently sits on a property the Capitol wants to recover for violation of the conditions set when the property was donated by the provincial government.

In fact, a portion of the military reservation had been recovered by the Capitol already in October when the DND turned over to the province the Transfer Certificates of Title of the 16 parcels of land covering 17.5 hectares.

Garcia plans to redevelop the property to generate more revenues for the province once fully recovered.- FPL (FREEMAN)


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