Time for the former mayor to shut up

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Friday, August 22, 2014


WHILE this is a free country, I still think citizen Tomas Osmeña should shut up and stop insisting on his stand on how to dispose of the lots in the South Road Properties (SRP). He is no longer an official and he does not have the personality to represent Cebu City.

Why won't he let Mayor Michael Rama do what he thinks is best for the SRP? The Cebuanos know that what the mayor is doing is for the good of the city. The problem with Tomas is that he thinks he is a genius and people around him are all dumb. That he is a man who knows everything.

I think Cebuanos should not listen to him anymore because what he is spreading are lies. He has personal and political agenda as far as the SRP is concerned.

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Osmeña said he was upset and angry that his four former allies supported the resolution authorizing Rama to negotiate with prospective buyers and dispose of SRP lots. He accused them of making it appear that they were doing it for the city when
they were doing it for themselves.

So, what was the motive of Councilors Gerry Carillo, Noel Wenceslao, Ritchie Osmeña and Bob Cabarrubias in supporting that resolution? For money? For personal gain?

What if I will also ask him what his motive is in poking his fingers into SRP matters? What is his interest?

He is arguing that the city should delay the sale of SRP lots and wait until SM and Filinvest fully develop the area because by then the prices of the lots will shoot up.

But that is illogical. He also said that if he had his way, he would only sell one hectare of SRP lots every year at P50,000 per square meter so the city could earn P500 million.

But why wait when there are already takers? Is he sure that there will be takers when lot prices are already high? Why only sell one hectare when we can dispose of more hectares?

Again, what was stipulated in the resolution is advantageous to the city government.

The lots will be sold at a minimum of P20,000 per square meter with a six percent interest rate per annum of the 50 percent remaining balance, plus the buyers will shoulder the payment of taxes except for the transfer tax.

I am not a real estate broker but what are the taxes involved? Capital gains tax and documentary stamp tax? If we total these all, the price per square meter would run up to P30,000 per square meter. And once the certificates of land title are transferred to the buyers, they will start paying real estate taxes. Isn't that advantageous to the city?

Besides, if there are contracts, these will still be ratified by the council. So everything will be scrutinized.

Tomas has his personal and political agenda for the SRP. He does not want Mike to dispose of the lots because he wants to do it if he wins in the 2016 elections.

Also, once Mike succeeds in disposing of the lots, it would be to his advantage in the coming elections. Mike will have the money to implement his projects. The incumbent has the advantage because he can use government resources to advance his political interest. The new Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC), once constructed, will boost the political stock of the Mike.

When the sale of SRP lots to SM and the deal with Filinvest were consummated, Tomas was already hospital bound in Houston for an operation related to his urinary bladder cancer. Mike, who was the acting mayor, signed the contract. But why did Tomas go home for a couple of days before going back to the US? He returned for what?

***

So the four councilors who bolted the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) are now forming an independent bloc at the city council? They said that they will vote on crucial issues based on their conscience. They will not take orders from anyone. What is their primordial concern is for the good of Cebu.

Good. I admire their courage in bolting from the BOPK where they were blinded for many years by their political master. At least now they have opened their eyes to political reality.

Pagkadugay nilang nahigmata no? Pero sige na lang, at least, nahigmata na sila. Kanang uban diha nga wala pa mahigmata, kanus-a pa man mo? Nabutaan lang gihapon mo sa inyong amo nga wala nay silbi?

(bobby.nalzaro@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 23, 2014.

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