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By Jose Alejandrino President Duterte has the right attitude. In a democracy, you listen to the voice of the majority. You ignore a ...

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Firm in Duterte’s barbs against Inquirer says land issues better answered in court

Published May 17, 2017 10:33pm
By JOHN TED CORDERO, GMA News

Sunvar Realty Development Corp. on Wednesday clarified several issues surrounding a 2.9-hectare government property leased to the property developer on the heals of President Rodrigo Duterte's tirades against the Philippine Daily Inquirer and its controlling families.

The Prieto and Rufino clans are the owners of Sunvar and broadsheet Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Duterte, on Tuesday, said he planned to sell the Mile Long property in Makati developed by Sunvar and use the proceeds to fund government housing projects.

"Hanggang ngayon, ang income ng establishments diyan, ang nagkukubra si Prieto, may-ari ng donut. Do not steal the property of government. Akala ninyo kayo lang ang marunong eh p-- ina ninyo, pati kayo magnanakaw. So do not tell us what to do... That is corruption of the highest order," he said.

Sought for comment regarding the issue raised by the President, Sunvar's legal counsel said it would be better for the matters to be discussed in court.

"Considering the pendency of the appeal before the Court of Appeals, we will simply address the legal issues raised at the proper forum," Christopher Capul of the Siguion Reyna, Montecillo and Ongsiako Law Office, the company's legal counsel, told GMA News Online.

In a fact sheet emailed to the media, Sunvar revealed some details surrounding its lease of the government property located in between De la Rosa and Arnaiz streets in Legazpi Village.

"Back in December 1977, the National Power Corporation and the government leased its 125,607 square meters of undeveloped property, located from Bangkal to Dasmarinas Village in Makati City, to Technology Resource Center Foundation Inc. (TRCFI)," Sunvar said.

The company said that it was interested in sub-leasing only 3,000 sqm of the TRCFI-leased  property to serve as parking and access for Makati Square shoppers and movie goers.

"TRCFI, however, insisted on having the entire property rented by Sunvar," Sunvar added.

In 1980, Sunvar said it has signed an "all-or-nothing long-term sub-lease" deal with TRCFI—"leasing a strip that had no road, clean water, drainage, electricity or communication."

"Sunvar paid TRCFI the full advance of P16.8 million to cover the entire lease period; an initial  period of nearly 25 years, renewable for another 25 years at Sunvar’s exclusive option," it said.

In April 2002, or eight months before the first 25 years lease expired, Sunvar notified Napocor, the government as well as Philippine Development Alternatives Foundation (PDAF) on exercising its exclusive option to extend the lease for another 25 years.

"Sunvar likewise tendered payment of rentals for the extended period," it said.

After the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution, TRCFI was dissolved and the rights to the property were given to the PDAF.

Napocor, mandated by the government to privatize all its assets, informed PDAF of the nonrenewal of the sub-lease. PDAF subsequently informed Sunvar.

Sunvar, however, responded that Napocor and the government must honor the lease agreement contract.

Napocor eventually filed a case against Sunvar through the Office of the Solicitor General headed by Agnes Devanadera at the Metropolitan Trial Court in Makati City in 2009.

The MTC in 2015 ruled in favor of the government and ordered Sunvar to vacate the property.

It also directed Sunvar to pay back rentals amounting to P478.2 million as of May 2015, but with monthly rental of P3.2 million starting June 2015 until they leave the property.

But Sunvar was able to obtain an injunction order from the Regional Trial Court in Makati City, stopping the MTC ruling.

The government elevated the case to the Court of Appeals, which sided with Sunvar in its decision in 2016. —NB, GMA News

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/money/economy/611205/realty-firm-in-duterte-tirades-against-inquirer-says-issues-better-answered-in-court/story/?utm_source=GMANews&utm_medium=Facebook&utm_campaign=money

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