CAPITOL and lawyers of the Balili estate failed to reach a compromise deal after the court-initiated mediation of the civil suit on the sale of the Balili property in Naga town, Cebu.

Judge Raphael Yrastorza of the Regional Trial Court Branch 14 called both parties of the case to a pre-trial conference yesterday morning.

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After a brief discussion, Yrastorza ended the pre-trial conference.

Provincial Legal Officer Marino Martinquilla said that after the issuance of a pre-trial order, court trial would start next month.

Martinquilla confirmed that both parties in the petition failed to reach a compromise agreement, prompting the court to schedule the trial of the case.

Since the executor of the Balili estate did not admit that some portions of the Balili beachfront property are submerged in water, Martinquilla said they would present in court a private geodetic engineer to shed light on the issue.

The Provincial Government will also present in court a representative from the real estate industry and Capitol’s appraisal committee, among others, said Martinquilla.

Lawyer Romeo Balili, executor of the Balili estate, has sought the dismissal of a civil complaint the Cebu Provincial Government filed in April seeking refund of the P37 million it paid for the purchase of the Balili beachfront property.

That motion is pending before Judge Yrastorza.

Earlier, Judge Ester Veloso of the Regional Trial Court Branch 6 withheld the distribution of the property of the late Luis Balili to his heirs, pending the resolution of Capitol’s petition.

The Provincial Government had filed a motion seeking to hold the distribution, after Capitol learned that the court authorized lawyer Romeo, as executor, and Luis’s widow, Amparo, to sell part of the property last May 14, 1997.

A memorandum of agreement was entered into between the Province and Romeo and Amparo for the sale of the beachfront property last April 21, 2008.

Romeo and Amparo executed a deed of absolute sale for the disposition of the properties of Luis on June 11, 2008.

Following the agreement, Capitol paid P98,926,800 to Luis for the purchase of the beachfront property.

However, after conducting relocation survey of the properties, Capitol found out that some portions were submerged in water and planted with mangroves.

These properties include the two adjoining parcels of lots – Lot 39-C-4-A covered by a transfer certificate of title and another untitled property covered by a tax declaration.

Last April 8, Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, through Martinquilla, filed a civil case for specific performance and reduction or refund of the purchase of parcels of land before the Cebu City RTC.

The Provincial Legal Office has asked the court to order the Balili executor to reimburse P37,810,400 consisting of two properties totaling

94,526 square meters, including interest from time of the payment until fully paid.