Sonny:City lost in sale of SRP lot to Filinvest

CEBU, Philippines - Former Senator John Henry “Sonny” Osmeña said that the sale of a portion of the South Road Properties (SRP) to Filinvest Land Incorporated was indeed disadvantageous to the city government
This was his reaction following the briefing made by city hall officials for the former senator after he requested for it.
The deal between the city and Filinvest involved the commercial development of more than 50 hectares of land in the SRP worth P25 billion.
Part of the agreement was for Filinvest to purchase 10 hectares for P1.5 billion, payable in three years, while the rest is in a joint venture.
According to Sonny, the Filinvest deal had put the city in an unfavorable situation especially in the mode of payment in the purchase lot.
“Alkanse gyud ang siyudad sa ilang binaligyaan kay gawas nga barato ra, gamay ra pud ilang gipangayo nga downpayment, dili kaapas sa bayranan,” Osmeña said.
City administrator Francisco Fernandez, one of the city officials who briefed the former senator, defended the Filinvest deal.
Fernandez said that investor’s offer is even higher than the prescribed price set by the Commission on Audit (COA).
“Of course lahi sab iyang opinion, that’s the essence of democracy but we have to make a decision and we stand firm that the Filinvest deal is beneficial to us,” Fernandez said.
The former senator, however, admitted that it was already a done deal unless some parties will question the said transaction.
The provincial government has filed a complaint against city officials questioning the Filinvest deal.
Capitol asked the Ombudsman-Visayas to look into the transaction entered into by Filinvest and the city government, which they said was prejudicial to the interest of the city residents.
Mayor Tomas Osmeña, Vice Mayor Michael Rama, members of the city council, and Filinvest chairman Andrew Gotianun, Jr. were named respondents in the complaint.
The respondents were accused by Governor Gwendolyn Garcia of violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Meanwhile, Sonny also questioned the coming sale of 30 hectares to SM Prime Holdings worth a little over P2.6 billion.
The former senator said that the city government has no master plan in the sale of the lots at the SRP, which could end up with the city losing money.
“Wala nila planoha ang pagbaligya, mura sila og nagbaligya ug retaso, putol-putol ba, alkanse gyud ana ang siyudad ana,” Sonny explained
(The Freeman)

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