Court ‘frees’ SRP-A A +A
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
THE Regional Trial Court (RTC) cancelled the lien issued on two titles of the South Road Properties (SRP) that form part of the 10.6-hectare property Filinvest Land Inc. (FLI) is developing.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said he will personally inform FLI officials about the cancellation of the lis pendens notice, which means there will be no more encumbrances to the titles.
In the same order, Judge Alexander Acosta also cancelled the notices of garnishment issued on the accounts of the City Government.
Only the Philippine Postal Savings Bank tagged a P124-million account of the City Government when the notice of garnishment was issued last year.
The Philippine Veterans Bank refused to tag the City’s account because the funds had been obligated for various services.
Upon receipt of the court’s order dated Aug. 27, Mayor Rama announced yesterday he is considering withdrawing the City’s money from Postal Bank.
“If it cannot take care of our money then why should it be there?” Rama told reporters.
Rama said he will sit down with incoming City Treasurer Diwa Cuevas and City Attorney Jerone Castillo about the possibility of withdrawing the City’s funds from the bank.
He was miffed that the bank tagged the City’s account and kept it tagged even when the City Government acquired a writ of preliminary injunction from the Court of Appeals against the heirs of Fr. Vicente Rallos.
The Ralloses wanted the enforcement of a court ruling that granted them P133 million, by having the City turn over properties that are being developed by Filinvest Land Inc. and SM Prime Holdings. They also went after the City’s deposits in the Postal and Veterans Banks.
The Ralloses successfully sought the notice of lis pendens on two lots at the SRP, with titles PT-15971 and PT-15972.
This and the notice of garnishment issued to Postal Bank prompted the tagging of the account.
Sun.Star Cebu tried to get the comment of Postal Bank yesterday on Rama’s statement that the City might withdraw its funds from the bank. But a bank representative said the City Government is the entity in authority to speak on the issue.
The representative said the bank is “not allowed to release information” on anything involving deposits of its clients.
Rama said he will personally inform officials of FLI about the cancellation of the lis pendens notice.
“I should, we should and we will,” said the mayor.
He also directed Castillo to communicate with the Registry of Deeds to cancel any encumbrances on the two SRP titles.
He clarified that it is not his cup of tea to get back to the Cebu City Council and mock them about the recent court ruling.
The council of the previous term had passed a resolution urging the executive department to pay the Rallos heirs the P133 million as ordered by the Supreme Court.
But Rama was adamant against it because of the preliminary injunction ordered by the Court of Appeals (CA).
The same CA ruling was made basis for Judge Acosta to issue the recent order in favor
of the City.
“The involvement of public funds and property justifies the urgency and necessity of the issuance of writ of preliminary injunction to prevent serious damage to petitioner (City). It is best to preserve the status quo pending the final determination of this case, otherwise, whatever decision hereon will be rendered ineffectual and nugatory,” the CA ruling quoted by Acosta read.
The Ralloses brought to the Supreme Court the CA’s issuance of a preliminary injunction in favor of the City Government.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 03, 2013.