Capitol 'has strong case' vs SM Prime

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

NEGROS Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. believes that the Province will win anew in the nullification case filed by SM Prime Holdings Inc. (SMPHI) pertaining to the Capitol's 7.7-hectare land deal with Ayala Land Inc. (ALI).

"We have a strong case against SM Prime," Marañon said.

Last week, the Provincial Government filed a counter claim and is seeking P50 million in moral and exemplary damages against SM Prime.


Marañon said he is sure the court will have a favorable ruling for them because the case involves the same issue that had already been resolved before.

He pointed out that the same case had been junked by Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 50 Judge Estefanio Libutan Jr. after it ruled that the petition for certiorari filed by SMPHI has no evidence to prove that the respondents gravely abused their discretion.

He also cited that the Commission on Audit (COA) already approved with finality the deed of conditional sale and contract of lease between the Provincial Government and ALI while the Land Registration Authority (LRA) also dismissed the affidavit of adverse Claim filed by SMPHI.

The Provincial Government said the court battle had delayed the implementation of ALI's development projects and programs in Negros Occidental.

Under the deed of conditional sale, the Capitol will get a total of P750 million from ALI while under the contract of lease, ALI will pay P2.754 billion as rental fee for 50 years.

Marañon said that Ayala Land will start its development on the leased Capitol lot in November this year. (TDE)

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 29, 2014.

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