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Wednesday, September 18, 2019
CEBU

Bzzzzz: What does compromise on SRP lots case filed by Torres say?

CEBU City Councilor Sisinio Andales and SRP. (SunStar File)

PEOPLE are talking about...

* MANNY PACQUIAO HOSTING THOSE SENATORS' MEETINGS. He must be jockeying for a higher position in the Senate this July or a higher elective position in government in 2022. Whatever is his plan, he needs only to avoid the parrying of questions from his colleagues, at least until he learns the basics of parliamentary discourse.

* WHY COMELEC IS BENDING OVER TO ALLOW RONALD CARDEMA TO SIT AS PARTY-LIST REP. The Duterte Youth Party nominee, whose late substitution and old age have set off controversy, is an effective defender of the administration. He did better in public debates than most other Duterte mouthpieces.

Compromise is odd

In a resolution filed by BOPK Councilor Sisinio Andales last May 21, the Cebu City Council ratified as valid the compromise entered into by Mayor Tomas Osmeña and complainant Romulo Torres.

Torres had sued the city councilors to stop them from spending the P83.5 billion down payment made by the consortium that bought 46.2 hectares of SRP land from the city.

The City Council action has stirred observers' curiosity:

* Why the mayor entered into it when the Court of Appeals had upheld the RTC ruling that dumped the complaint, ruling that there was "no actual case or controversy" that will justify "exercise of judicial power." In other words, it was not the business of the court.

* What were the terms of the compromise that the City Council ratified. Councilor Joy Pesquera asked for a copy of the compromise but was reportedly not furnished any. What the heck then did they approve?

What it probably was

Speculation on the Torres-Osmeña compromise focus on this: Since Torres asked for the City Council not to spend the lots sale proceeds, the mayor must have agreed that that City Hall will not spend the money.

Some people who think that Torres was just put up to file the case say the compromise merely says what the mayor wanted in the first place: to freeze the funds.

Torres sued the councilors, not the mayor. That must be why Mayor Osmeña needed the City Council to affirm the terms of the compromise -- and why, if true, the CA refused to recognize the compromise as the mayor was not a party to the case.

Ordering city attorney

Can the Cebu City Council order the city attorney to file a case in court for the City Government?

Not directly. The City Council may decide that the City Government will sue, say, the buyers of the SRP lots to have the nullity of the contract declared by the court.

The City Council authorizes the mayor to sue in the name of the city. The mayor, in turn, orders the city attorney to study and prepare the complaint.

***

Tell us about it.

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