Ayala Land disclosure of Capitol project good for Neg Occ – Maranon

BACOLOD CITY, (PNA) — Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Maranon Jr. welcomed the disclosure of Ayala Land Inc. to the Philippine Stock Exchange of its continuing negotiation with the provincial government for its Capitol property project.

“This will be good news to other investors that the province is a good place to invest in,” Marañon said.

On Monday, ALI informed the PSE that they confirmed receipt from the province of Negros Occidental of a recent resolution issued by the Commission of Audit.

The COA resolution dated Aug. 14, 2013 affirms with finality its approval of the sale and lease by the Negros Occidental provincial government of its 7.7-hectare property beside the Capitol building here to ALI.

The COA dismissed for lack of merit the motion for reconsideration filed by SM Prime Holdings Inc. to the Sept. 21, 2012 COA ruling in favor of ALI.

SM Prime has a pending case before the Regional Trial Court here against provincial officials, including Marañon. It is seeking the annulment of any negotiated sale and lease by the provincial government property to ALI, and for SM Prime to be declared the winning bidder of the July 7, 2011 bidding.

In a statement after the COA issued its Aug. 14 resolution, SM Prime reiterated that it has a pending petition before the RTC Branch 50 against the controversial contracts.

“SM Prime Holdings Inc. has an existing petition for certiorari, which raises legal issues regarding the bidding for the Capitol property. It is still pending with the Bacolod RTC,” the statement said.

It added: “SMPHI is questioning the declaration by the provincial government of the failure of the public bidding and is hoping for a speedy determination of the legal issues plaguing the auction of the properties,” it added.