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SM­ Prime-ALI row over Negros site continues

Posted on June 18, 2014 09:44:43 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]

BACOLOD CITY --­ The row between developers Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI) and SM Prime Holdings, Inc. over government-owned properties here entered a new phase with SM Prime filing a new complaint in court.

The new civil case is seen further delaying the planned development of the properties into a P6 ­billion mixed-use complex by Ayala Land.

Ayala Land has yet to undertake development at the site, although it conducted soil tests in March and asked the city government last month to reclassify the land for commercial use.

Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo G. Marañon, Jr., who showed a copy of the complaint to reporters, said the delay will adversely affect the delivery of services to the poor.

“Proceeds of the sale and lease are intended to provide health, education, and livelihood services to the poor of Negros Occidental,” he said.

In its new complaint, SM is asking the court to nullify the deed of conditional sale and contract of lease between the provincial government and Ayala Land for a 3.6587­-hectare (ha) property and an adjacent 4.0481­-ha lot, respectively.

The new complaint was filed on May 21 before the Bacolod Regional Trial Court, about four months after SM’s first complaint was dismissed.

Bacolod RTC Branch 50 Judge Estefanio Libutan, Jr., in a decision dated Jan. 23, denied SM’s petition to nullify the resolution declaring the July 7, 2011, bidding a failure and to be named the winning bidder. --­ Adrian P. Nemes III            

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