ALTHOUGH they said they welcome plans for Kawit Island, some opposition councilors criticized Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña for being anti-development and anti-progress.
In an interview, Councilor Joel Garganera said Osmeña is anti-progress because he is projecting that the contract of sale between the City Government and the consortium between SM Prime Holdings and Ayala Land Inc. in 2015 for the sale of 45.2 hectares of lot at the South Road Properties (SRP) is illegal.
“What is his basis? Only his self? He is not even a lawyer. For me, to declare something illegal, that’s an insult to the lawyers of these companies who are exercising due diligence on this (transaction),” Garganera said.
Garganera said he is not against the plan of JG Summit Holdings to submit an unsolicited proposal to lease and develop Kawit Island at the SRP into a commercial leisure complex worth P18 billion.
Councilor Raymond Garcia shares the same sentiment, adding that it is good for the City.
“This is good for Cebu City. Investments bring in more jobs, more taxes and spur economic activity. I will support this move provided that we are able to scrutinize the contract and make sure that it is really beneficial to the City. I don’t want a repeat of the joint venture of the city with Filinvest Land Inc. wherein we were shortchanged,” Garcia said.
However, Osmeña said he stood pat on his earlier pronouncement that the sale of lots two years ago is illegal and the transaction was the worst corruption done in the City.
“What about SM and Ayala? They’re involved in the fraudulent sale together with Team Rama with the sale of property. These people have derogatory experience with the City Government,” he told reporters.
Osmeña said he is not anti-development and anti-progress and he did not block the project of SM to build a world class Oceanarium or marine park at the SRP.
“With somebody spending P18 billion, I am anti-development? You see how twisted their minds are? And they’re using fake news that I block the marine park, it’s under construction. I’m anti-development when they want to make kawat (steal) with our property?” he said. (RVC)
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on November 10, 2017.
Latest issues of SunStar Cebu also available on your mobile phones, laptops, and tablets. Subscribe to our digital editions at epaper.sunstar.com.ph and get a free seven-day trial.