SMPHI claim over Capitol lots junked

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014


THE Land Registration Authority (LRA) denied the appeal of SM Prime Holdings Inc. (SMPHI) over its adverse claim on the 39 lots owned by the Province Government of Negros Occidental covered by the deed of sale and contract of lease of the Provincial Government with Ayala Land Inc. (ALI).

The decision is stated in a resolution dated March 17, 2014 signed by LRA Administrator Eulalio Diaz pertaining to an appeal filed by SMPHI through Lawyer Edgar Ryan San Juan from the denial of the registration of his affidavit of adverse claim by the Registered of Deeds for Bacolod City on the grounds that the adverse claim filed by the registrant of the transaction has been a subject of a prior denial of an annotation of a notice of lis pendens.

The notice of lis pendens is filed for the purpose of warning all persons that the title to certain property is in litigation and that if they purchase the same, they are in danger of being bound by an adverse judgment, according to www.lawphil.net.

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The adverse claim is among the various legal means sought by SMPHI in protesting the decision of the Provincial Government to sell and lease its 7.7-hectare property to ALI. SM Prime lost to Ayala Land during the July 2011 bidding.

The LRA said the action filed was one of a special civil action and Presidential Decree (PD) therefore beyond the scope of the coverage of PD 1529 and that the Register of Deeds is not fully convinced of the opinion of the adverse claimant that the latter has a direct claim on the properties of the registered owner merely based on good reasons of the adviser claimant.

The propriety of the bidding conducted by the Bidding Committee on Awards and Disposal of the Province of Negros Occidental is the main issue of the matter and the Office of the Register of Deeds of Bacolod City has nothing to do with it.

SMPHI claimed legal rights and interest over 39 lots all owned by the Province of Negros Occidental which were subjected to public auction where SMPHI tendered its bid.

In his resolution, Diaz said the Register of Deeds’ denial of registration is sustained and the subject affidavit of adverse claim is not registrable.

Governor Alfredo Marañon said the LRA decision is another obstacle removed in the Provincial Government’s transaction with Ayala Land.

“Though we cannot say that this is already the last obstacle," Marañon added.

Assistant Provincial Legal Officer Mary Ann Lamis confirmed on Monday that SMPHI has filed a motion for reconsideration to the local court's decision favoring Capitol in the case filed by SMPHI pertaining to the bidding held in June 2011 which was declared a failure by the Bids and Disposal Committee.

Lamis said it is part of the legal means of the SMPHI but the province also filed its opposition.

In its motion, SM Prime sought the reversal and setting aside of the decision of the court and have the deed of sale and lease contract awarded to them.

Based on the contracts approved by the Commission on Audit, the deed of sale allows Ayala Land to purchase from the provincial government 3.6587 hectares of land worth P750 million.

Ayala Land can also lease 4.0481 hectares at P2,955,133 a month, with rent increasing at 10 percent every five years.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 25, 2014.

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