Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Hurdle to Ayala project in Negros cleared

BACOLOD CITY -- Another obstacle to the proposed P6-billion property development project of Ayala Land, Inc. here was cleared after the Land Registration Authority (LRA) upheld the denial of the adverse claim of SM Prime Holdings, Inc. to the property.

The LRA ruling came about two months after the Regional Trial Court (RTC) here junked SM Prime’s petition to annul the negotiated sale and lease of the 7.7-hectare provincial government property to Ayala.

“This is not the last obstacle yet as SM has appealed the denial of its petition,” said Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo G. MaraƱon, Jr.

He said, however, that Ayala has started conducting soil tests at the site, which is envisioned to be a master-planned mixed-use complex.

The provincial government and Ayala signed, shortly after a negotiated bidding in July 2011, contracts allowing Ayala to purchase from the provincial government 3.6587 hectares (ha) of land worth P750 million and lease 4.0481 ha at P2.95 million a month.

The contracts were approved by the Commission on Audit in September 2012.

SM Prime, insisting that it won the July 7, 2011 bidding that was declared a failure by the provincial government, sued the province and asked to be awarded the contracts.

Last Jan. 23, Bacolod RTC Judge Estefanio Libutan, Jr. denied SM Prime’s petition.

In his decision, LRA Administrator Eulalio C. Diaz III explained that “the exclusive right to purchase or lease the property subject to bidding is not a claim on the title, but at least, an assailment of the bid proceeding” and has nothing to do with the title itself.

On March 26, 2012, the Bacolod registrar of deeds denied SM Prime’s application to register a lis pendens on the ground that the case involving the property is a special civil action and does not fall within the coverage of Section 76 of Presidential Decree 1529, or the Property Registration Decree. -- APN

source: Businessworld  

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