Rama mulls lawsuit against council over P133-M case

Posted on October 26, 2012

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Back from his trip to Rome, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama yesterday said he wants to take legal action against the City Council for directing him to pay a P133 million money claim of the Rallos heirs, which he insists has no legal basis.

“Are they now becoming lawyers of the city?” Rama asked in a press conference.

Rama said he would discuss with his lawyers what charge to file in court after the council on Wednesday passed a resolution sponsored by Augustus Pe Jr. urging him to pay up.

The mayor said he intends to file a complaint with the Visayas Ombudsman against Councilors Pe, Alvin Arcilla, Sisinio Andales, Nida Cabrera, Leah Japson, Michael Ralota, Alvin Dizon, Richie Osmena, Noel Wenceslao and Roberto Cabarrubias.

Rama arrived on Wednesday from his trip to Rome for the Calungsod canonization.

The City Council said the mayor was obliged to execute the decision of the Supreme Court in the expropriation case because it was final and executory.

Couuncilor Pe said he welcomes any legal action by the mayor and that his resolution was made for the protection of the city’s interest in mind.

“We will just answer any case he would file against us. We just have different views on the matter,” Pe said.

He said the council risks being cited in contempt of court and that refusal to pay the Rallos heirs dampens confidence in Cebu City’s South Road Properties (SRP) as an investment site, especially after some of its lots were the target of an earlier garnishment order which was blocked by the mayor.

Pe said settling the long-drawn Rallos case would allow the city to earn from its joint venture agreement with Filinvest which is developing part of the SRP.

“I thought Mayor Rama wanted bigger revenue collection to support his proposed budget?” said Pe.

Rama insists his administration has a strong case against the Rallos heirs and can win in court. He said his position was backed by legal experts whom he consulted.

Rama said he wondered whether the City Council has a copy of the Supreme Court decision or an opinion from the Commission on Audit to support the resolution directing him to pay P133 million to the land claimants. /Doris C. Bongcac, Chief of Reporters

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