THE Cebu City Council now dominated by Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) stalwarts passed an ordinance authorizing the “former political has-been” to sell part of the South Road Properties (SRP). Some three hectares would be sold with the floor price of P110,000 per square meter. Some councilors identified with the opposition Barug Team Rama voted for the ordinance while others abstained.

Councilor Hanz Abella, who authored the ordinance, said there are queries but the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) is still formulating the terms of reference that will be presented back to the city council for approval. Once approved, public bidding would immediately be conducted.

But the “former political has-been,” in a separate interview, said he is looking for a buyer. In the article in The Freeman last Thursday, he added that looking for a buyer will never be a challenge, saying “he knows how to negotiate.”

I am confused. Abella is talking about bidding while the “former political has-been” is talking of negotiation. Bidding and negotiation are two different things. If it will disposed through bidding, there’s no need for a negotiation and vice versa. Which is which? Matud pa sa mga LGBT, “mabayot ko ani buang.”

To recall, during his previous term, the “former political has-been” disposed SRP lots through negotiated sale at P9,000 per square meter with the city government paying the capital gains tax. That is the lot where the SM Seaside Mall and the high-end subdivision being developed by Filinvest stands.

During the term of Mike Rama, he sold 46 hectares (through public bidding) amounting to P16 billion to SM, Ayala and Filinvest at the floor price of P38,000 per square meter with the buyers paying the capital gains tax. But Rama’s sale is now subject of controversy as the present City Hall occupant wants to have the transactions annulled. He is harassing the buyers so they will surrender the properties back to City Hall.

Which is more transparent, public bidding or negotiated sale? In a bidding, the seller sets the floor price upon concurrence of the Commission on Audit. The BAC sets all the terms of reference and every procedure in the entire transaction.

In negotiated sale, the buyers are asked to submit their terms and conditions (settlement period, finances clauses, deposit amount for the seller to approve, etc.). Only approved buyers whose terms and conditions are accepted can participate in the “transparent” negotiations. But some say negotiated sale is like an “indecent proposal,” a subject for “under-the-table” deal.

Well, let us wait if there are really parties interested in purchasing these lots. The price is too high. Pero mao lagi, bisan pa kun ipaagi sa bidding ug labi na sa negotiated sale, siguradong naa na poy maka-kuwarta ani. Pila kaha no? Billions gud ni.