CEBU City Mayor Tomas Osmeña has given SM Prime Holdings Inc. (SMPHI) an ultimatum for the removal of their cube structure in front of its mall in the South Road Properties (SRP).
The pronouncement came after the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 9 dismissed the petition that SMPHI filed against the City Government over the renewal of their business permits at the SM Seaside City Cebu.
In a news conference last Friday, the mayor said he is giving the mall’s management until after the Sinulog celebrations next month to correct the construction violation, the failure to comply with the mandatory setback for lands abutting a road-right-of-way.
Section 804 of the National Building Code provides that for commercial, industrial, institutional and recreational buildings along newly developed thoroughfares, the required minimum setback for land with widths of 30 meters and above is eight meters.
Osmeña warned that if the management will not take out the cube, which was built on a setback, he will make good his threat to shut down all establishments owned and operated by SMPHI inside the mall.
“If they don’t remove the cube, I’m going to close the SM stores and movie houses. I’m not going to close the (other) businessmen in there, but I will also not allow new businesses to come in. We will not touch the tenants,” he said.
An official of SMPHI told SunStar Cebu in a text message yesterday that they have “no comment” on the matter.
The mall management, however, has already started working on the landscape on the mall’s sides.
Osmeña’s move to have SM correct its violations has caused the opposition bloc to allege that the mayor may be playing favorites among big developers at the SRP.
Barug Team Rama councilors are asking the mayor why is he adamant about SM correcting its violations, but not demanding the same from Filinvest Land Inc.
“That’s true because I can only fight one Goliath at a time. FLI is at least cooperating with us. They are rescinding the sale (made during the previous administration). It’s a matter of priority. I’m running after the biggest (SM) and that’s not favoritism because they have all kinds of violation,” Osmeña said.
Meanwhile, the RTC Branch 7 also denied the plea for a writ of preliminary injunction that owners of Rico’s Lechon had filed.
This means that the three branches of Rico’s Lechon, which the Cebu City Government shut down, will remain closed. “Rico’s has yet to pay their unpaid taxes. We’re going to file cases against them,” Osmeña said. (RTF)
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on December 11, 2017.
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