I WILL get the three properties back.

This was the stern warning of Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, referring to the combined 45.2 hectares at the South Road Properties (SRP) that three property developers bought in 2015.

In his speech during the 80th Charter Day celebration yesterday, Osmeña said he will win his fight against them.

The mayor said that towards the end of his term, he wants each public high school graduate to get a P50,000-scholarship grant per semester for their college education.

In an interview, Osmeña said he will not let anyone dictate him on what he should do for the City because he has his own convictions and plans.

The mayor's statement is in response to the challenge of Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino, asking him to bring in an investor who is willing to buy the lots at the SRP at P110,000 per square meter in one month.

“There will always be people like Dino. He's like a cockroach. No matter what you do, there will always be another cockroach. If an atomic bomb explodes here in Cebu, all of us might die but not the cockroach. To me Dino is another cockroach and we have to deal with it,” he said.

The mayor said that whatever Dino says won't mean anything to him because he is more focused on what he should be doing.

“I will get the three properties back. That's what I said in my Charter Day (message) 'I will get it back.' I did not say I will try to get it back. And I'm doing this for the Cebuano,” Osmeña said.

Sought for comment, former Mayor Michael Rama said the plan of the City and Filinvest Land Inc. (FLI) to rescind the contract on the purchase of the 19.2-hectare property it bought at the SRP has to be fought.

Rama said Osmeña's move is a form of bullying, intimidation and economic sabotage.

“You just can't rescind that easily and there will be more actions perhaps. I wish that the council predominated by us will continue to have the character, dignity and conviction to stand,” he said.

Asked if he had the authority to sign the deed of sale with the three developers, Rama did not comment.

“Why is he (Osmeña) talking only now? The papers are in order. That's why I'm saying that their (developers') lawyers are irresponsible? Of course not, FLI, Ayala and SM have good lawyers,” Rama said.

In June 2015, the City sold three parcels of lots at the SRP with a combined area of 45.2 hectares. Some 26 hectares were sold to the consortium of Ayala Land-Cebu Holdings Inc. and SM Prime Holdings Inc.