THE Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) is washing its hands of the claims of heirs of the original owner of the lots in Lapu-Lapu City where the airport stands on their equitable share of the payment given to businessman Richard Unchuan.
MCIAA general manager Steve Dicdican said the management has only followed the decision of the Supreme Court to pay Unchuan.
“The case and the Supreme Court was really between Unchuan and MCIAA. The land title is also in the name of Unchuan. So, we have no say that the heirs have an interest on the lots,” Dicdican said.
MCIAA paid P2.8 billion to Unchuan for a portion of the land in the airport he claimed as his, following the decision of the Supreme Court.
Dicdican said the payment was made after Unchuan agreed to the counteroffer of MCIAA to pay the amount rather than the P4.75 billion total appraised value plus rentals.
“The Supreme Court decision has become final and executory, so there is really no choice for MCIAA but to comply with it,” said Dicdican.
The property is part of the airport runway and taxiway on the side of Barangay Ibo, Lapu-Lapu City.
Last May 31, 2019, heirs of Teodora Tampus, who owned lots 4810-A and 4810-B, called a press conference demanding an explanation from the MCIAA why it gave its payment to Unchuan.
The heirs said their family and Unchuan had an agreement that the businessman would represent them in the case which sought to collect the remaining payment from the MCIAA.
In 1958, Atanacio Godinez, one of the children of Tampus, sold one of the lots that has an area of 232,599 square meters to the MCIAA.
Since only one of the five children sold the lot, the court ruled that the sale was only valid up to Atanacio’s share.
This was the reason the heirs decided to resort to legal action to collect the remaining payment from the MCIAA.
In 2016, the Supreme Court decided in favor of Unchuan, who filed the case on behalf of Tampus’s heirs. It ordered the MCIAA to pay the rental fees and initiate the expropriation proceedings for the lot.
The initial computation of the payment reached P3.5 billion, but the MCIAA asked for a compromise amount of P2.8 billion.
Unchuan and the heirs agreed that the latter would get 10 percent of the P2.8 billion and/or P350 million, whichever is higher.
Tampus’s heir Benjamin Soroño said the family was surprised after learning last March 20, 2019, that the MCIAA had already made the payment to Unchuan.
“We seek justice; we want to ask MCIAA General Manager Steve Dicdican why they gave the payment to Unchuan,” he said.
They also demand an equitable share for their rights over the properties.
Dicdican said the MCIAA is not aware of the arrangement of Unchuan and the heirs.
But he said that during the time they were still litigating with Unchuan, “we did welcome the intervention of these heirs. In fact, they did intervene. But at a certain point, their intervention feathered out.”
“We were not sure what their intention was, if they wanted to pursue their claim against Unchuan or they already settled with them as well. This is not a matter between MCIAA and the heirs, but a matter between Unchuan and the heirs,” Dicdican said.
MCIAA Assistant General Manager Glenn Napuli said the total rentals as of March 4, 2019 was P539,748,000 from March 2004 to March 2019.
Napuli said they hired Cuervo Appraisers Inc., which is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission and accredited by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and several huge private corporations.
Napuli said Cuervo appraised one lot at P23,300 per square meter, and P31,100 per square meter for another two lots. The total Cuervo appraisal is P4,213,414,800.
He said the total value of the lots plus rentals is P4.75 billion if they will follow the Supreme Court decision to the letter.
So, without a Supreme Court decision on their motion for reconsideration, Napuli said the MCIAA negotiated with Unchuan to take out the rentals and reduce the land price to P18,675.38 per square meter or a total of P2.8 billion.
He said had Unchuan refused the offer, MCIAA was determined to file an expropriation case to get the land.
Finally, when Unchuan accepted the offer, the MCIAA paid Unchuan through Republic Act 10752 or An Act Facilitating the Acquisition of Right-of-Way Site or Location for National Government Infrastructure Projects. (EOB)