OVER MC ADORE SALE
IT MAY still be premature for Mayor Benjamin Lim to rejoice over the controversial sale of MC Adore and the reported full payment by the buyer last January 28.
Lawyer Borromeo Bustamante, representing his client Ryan Ravanzo, secretary of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, has filed a motion on the same day to declare Lim in contempt of court and declare the sale as invalid.
Lim proceeded with the sale of the former MC Adore International Palace on Zamora Street for P119 million despite an unresolved special civil action filed by Ravanzo before the Regional Trial Court, Branch 40.
RTC Judge Emma Torio issued an order restraining respondent Lim from selling the property.
Despite the pending case, Lim carried on with the bidding for the property last January 7 through the City Disposal Committee, which the mayor himself heads.
Supposed winning bidder AMB ALC Holdings & Management Corporation, which earlier gave a P10 million bid deposit, reportedly paid the remainder of the bidding price of P119 million last January 28.
In a press statement, Lim declared the sale “a done deal”.
Lim said the transaction “was perfected when the auction winner firm through its Chief Finance Officer Benjamin Ramos handed to the prime properties’ award committee its P108,371,700 balance check yesterday morning.”
Bustamante, on the other hand, contends that assuming that the temporary restraining order lost its efficacy after 20 days, Lim proceeded to sell MC Adore on Jan. 7, 2013 even without complying anew with the notice required in an auction sale.
Bustamante pointed out that it was also on Jan. 3 that the petitioner’s motion for preliminary injunction was finally heard and the petitioner submitted said incident for resolution right after the hearing.
But only four days after the hearing, Lim went on to bid out the property.
Bustamante charged that without waiting for the court to resolve the petitioner’s motion for preliminary injunction, the respondent “exhibited a clear disrespect and open disregard to whatever process the Honorable Court would issue in this instant case.”
“Such actuation is an exhibition of a clear defiance and without regard to the authority of the courts, and also to the processes the court would issue to pending actions,” he said.
Lim, meanwhile, said the sale was “done in a legal, clear and open manner”.
A story and photos of the signing of the deed of absolute sale and true copy of title were uploaded in a mirror site of Dagupan on facebook.
Witnessing the sale were Councilor Jess Canto, City Administrator Vlad Mata, City Legal Officer Roy Laforteza, City Assesor’s Office OIC Alan Dale Zarate, City Accountant Teresita Manaois, Rey Gloria and Tony Uy.
“I think we deserve a citation for this for we have gained additional funds for our city… We’ve become P119 million richer!” the mayor said.
He said the proceeds of the sale will be put in a time deposit while the city government plans what social service initiatives it will be spent for.
Meanwhile, AMB ALC Holdings’ Ramos said part of their company’s plan is to restore the prominence and elegance of the hotel that will house 120 hotel rooms, function rooms for banquet and convention, a bank and commercial spaces for local businesses like eateries and retail stores.
“At least 180 people will be employed by this project,” Ramos said.
The civil action against Lim stemmed from Resolution No. 6738-2001 enacted during a special session of the SP held April 20, 2012, called by Lim when Vice Mayor Belen Fernandez, SP presiding officer, was on an official trip out of the country.
Ravanzo asserted that the resolution has material defects relative to its enactment as confirmed by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
The other respondents in the special civil action are the councilors who signed the resolution, namely: Jesus Canto, Brian Lim, Redford Erfe Mejia, Luis Samson Jr., Karlos Reyna, Alvin Coquia, Librada Reyna, Guillermo Vallejos and Chester Gonzales.—with report from CIO