Land developer’s contract with Davide ‘defective’

THE Cebu Provincial Government has deemed “defective” a six-year contract of lease of a prime lot between a property developer and former governor Hilario Davide III.

The contract did not undergo procurement regulation and legislative approval, Capitol lawyers said.

Because of this, Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia terminated on July 18, 2019, “effectively immediately,” the contract of lease between Davide and Innoland Development Corp.

The six-year contract was not due until April 2020.

On July 29, 2019, Capitol lawyers sent a letter to Innoland demanding for the “last and final” time that Innoland vacate the land where its showroom stands, or face an ejectment case in court.

On Wednesday, July 31, men were moving out furniture and other office fixtures of Innoland’s The Median showroom, located just outside the Cebu IT Park on Salinas Drive, Barangay Lahug, Cebu City.

The Median is a residential condominium on La Guardia Extension in Barangay Lahug, Cebu City.

No bidding, no PB approval

The termination of the contract of lease and issuance of a notice to vacate against Innoland stemmed from alleged irregularities found in how it was able to use the Province-owned lot where its showroom stands.

Capitol legal consultant Marino Martinquilla said in an interview that the contract between Davide and Innoland did not go through the procurement regulation.

“First, there was no procurement process. There was no bidding to determine the lessee and the contract price,” Martinquilla said.

He also said the contract was unauthorized because the Provincial Board did not pass a resolution authorizing Davide, then the governor but now the vice governor, to enter into a contract with Innoland.

“Second, there was no PB resolution to authorize then governor Davide to enter into a contract and there was also no resolution ratifying the contract,” he said.

SunStar Cebu tried but failed to reach Davide for comment as of press time.

The contract

According to Martinquilla, the Province, through then governor Davide, executed a contract of lease in favor of Innoland in 2014.

The transaction involved a parcel of land (Lot No. 929-B) along Salinas Drive, which was a subject of lease for six years, from April 2014 to April 2020.

Based on the contract signed by Davide and Innoland chief operating officer Charles Vincent Ong, Capitol would lease 849 square meters of lot to Innoland for a monthly rate of P50 per square meter or P42,450.

Upon perusal of bidding records, Martinquilla said, he found out that the transaction did not undergo any procurement process through the Capitol’s Economic Enterprise Council.

No PB records

On July 16, 2019, PB Secretary Pulchra Marie Acevedo issued a certification that “no resolution has been passed and approved by the SP authorizing [...] Davide to enter into a contract of lease [...] with Innoland.”

Acevedo also issued a separate certification on July 29, stating that PB records do not show a resolution passed and approved by the PB ratifying the contract of lease.

Innoland begged off from issuing a statement other than saying that it received the letter from Governor Garcia and the notice to vacate the Capitol property.

Martinquilla said: “We will initiate the appropriate moves to recover the property. The transaction has deprived the Province of proprietary right over a premier real estate property.”

He said Capitol lawyers are working on a legal audit of all disposed Capitol-owned properties, regardless of the mode of disposal. (RTF)


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