Capitol still bound by pending case on land deal-A A +A
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
THREE Bacolod City councilors admitted that the case filed by SM Prime Holdings Inc. (SMPHI) against the Provincial Government and its committee on awards and disposal of properties prevents Capitol and Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) from freely pursuing the contract to develop the Capitol properties.
Councilors Homer Bais, Al Victor Espino and Dindo Ramos have made the impression in a resolution.
The gravity of the case lies in the claim of SMPHI that it actually won the contract since they submitted a bid price higher than ALI.
While some quarters conclude that with the Commission on Audit's approval of the contract, construction can proceed, investors, in general, would not touch a project that is hotly contested in court.
The case filed at the Regional Trial Court Branch 50 in Bacolod City is viewed as something that can even be elevated to the Court of Appeals if SMPHI is not satisfied with the local court's decision.
ALI submitted a letter last September 13 to Governor Alfredo Maranon expressing that it was open to discussing a mutual disengagement from the Capitol project.
"After more than a year since the property was awarded to Ayala Land for Development, we regret that we are unable to pursue the project on account of the delays and legal disputes that continue to threaten its implementation, through no fault of Ayala Land," said ALI senior vice president Emilio Tumbocon in a letter.
The company has re-focused on a much larger, ongoing 200-hectare development project in upper Negros, North Point, which it says is a sustained commitment of ALI to help grow the economy of Negros Occidental, as well as generate jobs and further enhance income opportunities for the people of Negros. (TDE)
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on October 24, 2012.