CEBU City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, an avid reader of Sun Tzu’s “Art of War,” has scored his first victory in recovering some South Road Properties (SRP) lots sold by the administration of then mayor Mike Rama.

Filinvest Land Inc. (FLI), one of the real estate giants involved in the deal, has said it will return to the Cebu City Government the 19.2 hectare lot it bought at the SRP.

Osmeña won it without even going to court. Or in Sun Tzu’s word, without firing a single shot.

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Osmeña said the city and FLI agreed in principle to rescind the contract for the sale of P6.8 billion SRP lots after the city failed to comply with some of its obligations to the latter.

Tristan Las Marias, FLI Visayas and Mindanao senior vice president, said the city failed to provide them with the titles of the two parcels of lots that they bought in June 2015.

So, it’s as easy as that to rescind a contract.

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Mayor Osmeña has weapons which were not available during Sun Tzu’s time in ancient China.

For example, Sun Tzu didn’t have hundreds of tons of garbage which the mayor has at his disposal which he could dump on the SRP to rattle the nerves and scare the hell out of buyers of prime lots in SRP.

See, the mayor doesn’t have to go to court. He only had to make a garbage transfer station at the SRP.

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Osmeña said the cancellation of contract will take effect once both parties will settle the legal provision of the move. The city has initially received P8.3 billion, which is equivalent to half of the total amount of the purchase cost.

FLI found Section 5.7 of the deed of sale that they entered with the city as a parachute to get out of the SRP deal. This provides that if the city fails to timely and properly comply with its obligations, FLI will not be held liable to pay the unpaid balance of the SRP lot.

Would Ayala and SM Prime Holdings do the same?