Cebu City Hall adamant on Fuente Rotunda claim

12/28/2010 - CEBU City Hall won't yield the Fuente Osmeña Rotunda to the Capitol and will pursue its claim in court.

Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama said they won't back out of their ownership dispute with the province despite a previous court ruling that ordered the city government to counter evidence presented by the Capitol on the case.

Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Generosa Labra of Branch 23 denied the city goverment's bid to dismiss the civil case for quieting of title filed by the province after affirming the title transfer certificate presented by the Capitol.

The Transfer Certificate of Title No. 122635 and RT 5346 were reportedly issued by the Register of Deeds of Cebu City.

The Capitol asked the court to order the city government to turn over ownership of the rotunda to the province.

The provincial government wants to recover possession of the 1,100-square-meter park that sits on two adjacent parcels of land in barangay Capitol Site along with the land occupied by the Fuente police across the park.

Capitol consultant Rory Jon Sepulveda explained that the provincial government has nothing against the city since it only wants the famous landmark to be identified with the province.

Should the province win the case, Sepulveda said it will never close the rotunda to the public.

But Rama said he would rather sign an agreement with any entity who wants to help develop the rotunda than turn over its ownership.

Rama declined to comment on whether or not he will include the rotunda ownership claim in talks with Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia along with the city-province dispute on province-owned lots in the city covered by Provincial Ordinance 93-1.

In the meantime, the city government continues to manage the Fuente Osmeña Rotunda.

Any project carried out by the city won't affect the pending case lodged by the Capitol against the city government.

City officials maintain that the city, which has managed the rotunda for over 100 years, should be considered owner of the property based on the principle of laches.

The principle establishes that a property owner who neglects his or her property for a long period of time relinquishes ownership to the entity who possesses or has acquired the property.
(Cebu Daily News)

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