Thursday July 19, 2018

Mactan airport wants case reopened

THE Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) has asked the Supreme Court (SC) to reopen the case filed by businessman Richard Unchuan pertaining to the ownership of an airport lot.

MCIAA General Manager Steve Dicdican said they found out from the heirs of the original owners of the more than 140,00-square-meter property claimed by Unchuan that they were not paid by the latter.

Dicdican said they filed a motion to reopen the case following the SC’s decision ordering MCIAA to pay Unchuan P482 million in rentals for the use of his property at Mactan airport.

“Thus, we have to protect and preserve airport properties, particularly against all illegitimate claimants and that is what Mr. Unchuan is...He is an illegitimate claimant. The government already bought the lots that he is claiming and this fact is even admitted and affirmed by written sworn accounts of the landowners,” said Dicdican.

“Moreover, according to the persons he allegedly bought the property from, he never paid for the lots. There was no consideration, so his sale is absolutely void,” he added.

Unchuan filed a civil case against MCIAA in March 2004.

In 2016, the SC decided in favor of Unchuan and ordered MCIAA to pay for the rental fees and initiate the expropriation proceedings over the lot.

Dicdican said that the heirs of the lot owner have filed pleadings to the court stating that they were not paid by Unchuan.

He lamented that “the SC, while ruling that MCIAA is a co-owner of the property, charged MCIAA for the use of the lot.”

He said a co-owner can use the property for free and should have been charged with interest, not rent.

“We might file a complaint before the lower court or the trial court to make our claims as a co-owner,” Dicdican said.

MCIAA also plans to file administrative cases against the staff of the Regional Trial Court and the court sheriff, who have been trying to execute the SC decision without going through the proper process. (FMG)