SM denies 'grabbing' Capitol land-A A +A
Saturday, June 30, 2012
A LAWYER of Henry Sy-led SM Prime Holdings Inc. (SMPHI) told a court hearing Friday that the mall operator has no intention of grabbing the land owned by the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental.
Lawyer Vince Patrick Bayhon said his client SMPHI has submitted an Affidavit of Adverse Claim with the national office of the Land Registration Authority (LRA) in Metro Manila after the Register of Deeds (ROD) in Bacolod City denied its application for Notice of Lis Pendens and Affidavit of Adverse Claim.
SMPHI claim that it won the July 7, 2011 bidding for the lease and purchase of the 7.7-hectare property of the Provincial Government in Bacolod City after it submitted a supposedly higher bid against the Ayala Land Inc. (ALI).
The said bidding was declared a failure by the Provincial Government on grounds that both companies failed to meet the floor price set by Capitol.
SMPHI, however, questioned Capitol's non-disclosure of the floor price for the said properties prior to the bidding. It filed a case against Governor Alfredo Maranon and the members of the provincial awards and disposal of properties committee at the Bacolod City Regional Trial Court branch 50, in questioning the failed bidding.
In an affidavit filed with LRA, Bayhon said SMPHI merely intends to inform the public that the company has pending claims on the property on the basis of its pending case against the government and other government officials.
The lawyer said the Affidavit for Adverse Claim is part of the legal remedy of anyone who has a pending case on a certain property.
An adverse claim is allowed by the law and that SMPHI does not consider it as a means to stall the contract between the Provincial Government and ALI, as it is mainly an annotation only, he added.
"Definitely it's not land grabbing because we are just registering our claims," Bayhon said.
He said that the subject property could still be negotiated by the owner but, in case there is a transfer of ownership, SMPHI's adverse claim will still be annotated in the property's title.
Bayhon further said that his client is simply asking for an annotation on the title of the contested properties and that such request is usually granted by the RODs.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 01, 2012.