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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, September 12, 2011
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Sale, lease of Capitol
property to Ayala can now push through

Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. yesterday said he is elated and very excited over the lifting of the Temporary Restraining Order on the provincial government by the Court of Appeals, saying the sale and lease of its 7.7-hectare prime property in Bacolod City to Ayala Land can now push through as planned.

"We are very happy, it is a vindication of our position," the governor said.

The Twentieth Division of the Court of Appeals in Cebu on Sept. 6 lifted the 60-day TRO it issued on Marañon and  other Negros Occidental  officials sought by SM Prime Holdings Inc. that  had opposed the awarding of the negotiated sale and lease of Ayala, claiming to be the winning bidder to the property.

SMPHI had refused to join the negotiated bidding, saying it had entered a higher bid than Ayala in a second bidding held on July 7, and sought the TRO to halt the negotiated sale and lease.

The Capitol had declared the second bidding a failure, pointing out that both SMPHI and Ayala had failed to meet the floor price for the property approved by the Commission on Audit.

Marañon said the decision of the CA shows that the position of SMPHI was very weak, and, "We were legally correct in our actions".

"We followed all legal procedures in the conduct of the bidding, and SMPHI self-proclaimed itself the winner," he said

SMPHI lawyer Vincent Patrick Bayhon could not be reached for comment as of press time.

The dispositive portion of the Sept. 6 CA order denied SMPHI's prayer for preliminary injunction, and lifted the TRO it issued on July 27.

It also directed SMPHI and the provincial government officials to submit their respective memorandums within 15 days after which it will be deemed submitted for decision.

The decision was penned by Associate Justice Victoria Isabel Paredes and concurred in by Associated Justices Edgardo de Los Santos and Ramon Paul Hernando.*CPG




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