‘SM-Prov’l Gov’t/Ayala Case Mediation Unconfirmed’
Is a mediation in the offing between SM Prime Holdings Inc. and the respondents in the case it filed - the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental and Ayala Land Inc.?
‘WATERING THE DRYING.’ As more areas dry up, private as well as public entities in Negros Occidental are trying to caution the impact by watering plants using their firefighting trucks. PAGASA weather bureau says it is not yet officially the dry season but many creeks and rivers are already water-less, with agricultural lands now needing water. The DA and the Air Force must approve cloud seeding proposals now.* (Arman Toga photo)
Assistant Provincial Legal Officer Mary Ann Lamis, however, said she cannot confirm the ‘mediation’ report.
The mediation angle came up Monday after the supposed oral arguments on the part of the Negros Occ. provincial government did not push through due to the postponement of the hearing to April 17, 2015.
Lamis said the hearing on the civil cased filed by SMPHI questioning the nullity of the Capitol-ALI contract was postponed due to “some issues”.
The provincial government is supposed to start with its oral arguments in the sala of the Regional Trial Court Branch 48.
The civil case was filed by Edgar Ryan San Juan, vice president of SMPHI Legal Department last May 21, 2014 and was raffled last May 26, 2014 at the RTC Branch 48.
Based on court records, SMPHI alleged that the province through the governor and the committee allegedly favored ALI relative to the lease of the province’s 7.7-hectare property in Bacolod City.
Another civil case was filed by SMPHI despite the dismissal of several claims and cases they filed against the Capitol-ALI Land deal.
The Land Registration Authority (LRA) denied SMPHI’s appeal last March 27, 2014 over its claim on the 39 lots owned by the Province of Negros Occidental covered by the deed of sale and contract of lease of the Provincial Government with ALI.
Earlier, RTC Branch 59 Judge Estefanio Libutan, Jr. dismissed for lack of merit the Certiorari the SMPHI filed against the two parties.
Other cases pertaining to the land deal were also filed and dismissed by the Court of Appeals.*