BAGUIO City Mayor Mauricio Domogan is standing by the decision of the city to oust tenants in Kayang Hilltop area saying there is no longer a meeting of the minds in agreements set.
Domogan said the contract of the group of lessees expired two years and upon moves for renewal, the group was not amenable to the terms and conditions set by the city, citing differences in rent and conditions in the contract on improvements which were rejected by the group.
The mayor said talks have been ongoing for over a year and denied claims by tenants that due process was not made in the series of meetings.
“They can say whatever they want… they want to continue to occupy the property at a low price,” Domogan said.
Domogan said the original rent set by the city for the space was as low as 25 centavos but the rent is being raised to P6 per square meter to which the tenants have rejected and has opposed the scheme that all renovations for the space will automatically belong to the city after the lease contract expires, with the assurance the same tenants can participate in a bidding to be done at the end of the agreed period of time.
An exasperated Domogan said the tenants can just vacate the area and get all renovations they have put.
A civil case is now in progress over the property between the government and the group of tenants led by Josephine Bayabayan–Nuñez alleging the city, as well as Domogan, has deprived them of process in the lease agreements over lots at Kayang Hilltop.
The move of the city through the mayor has been described by the complainants to be “unreasonable, unjust and illegal to the principle that ours is a government by the people and for the people who put the government officials into office to serve them and to oppress them.”
Counsel to Nuñez, Emiliano Gayo and Zosimo Abratique said the plaintiffs have invested substantial amounts in putting up theirs on the city lots which have been leased to them by the city and in maintaining their buildings.
Published in the SunStar Baguio newspaper on November 11, 2017.
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