The sale and lease of the 7.7-hectare prime property of the Negros Occidental provincial government in Bacolod City to AyalaLand Inc. is a signed deal, it’s a go, Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. said yesterday.
Marañon said he and ALI president Antonino Aquino and senior vice president Jose Emmanuel Jalandoni signed on Thursday the deed of sale and contract of lease for the property that is part of the Commission on Audit requirements for approval of the deal.
The signed contract is set to be ratified by the Negros Occidental Sangguniang Panlalawigan at a special session 9 a.m. Monday, Board Member Nehemias de la Cruz said.
A side agreement was that ALI would immediately begin payment for the purchased and leased property as soon as the COA officially releases its written approval of the deal, the governor said.
The governor said he was informed that as soon as the COA gets the signed copies of the deed of sale and contract of sale they will come out with a ruling on it immediately.
Sold by the Capitol is 36,587 square meters of land worth P750,033,500 subject to an initial payment of 50 percent, with the balance to be paid on a quarterly basis over a one-year period, the deed of sale states.
To be leased is 40,481 square meters at P2,955,133 a month, with rent escalating at 10 percent every five years, the lease contract t states.
Ayala will deposit P35,461,356 covering one year rent , it added
Ayala has committed to investing more than P6 billion in the development of the property, it will have a tremendous effect on Bacolod City and Negros Occidental, the governor said.
"We are relieved, this is s good for the people of Negros and Bacolod," he said.
Although the project had been delayed, Ayala is already preparing for the development, he said.
The SM Prime Holdings Inc. has a pending petition before the Bacolod Regional Trial Court seeking the annulment of any negotiated sale and lease by the provincial government property to AyaLand, and for SMPHI to be declared the winner of the July 7 bidding of the 7.7-hectare property.
Marañon, however, has insisted that the action of the province was above-board, and SMPHI did not win the July 7 bidding for the property, because, like Ayala, it had entered a bid below the floor price set.
That is why a negotiated bidding was held, in which SMPHI refused to participate, so the sale and lease was awarded to AyalaLand, he said.
SMPHI lawyer Vincent Patrick Bayhon said they had not been informed about the governor and ALI's signing of the deed of sale and contractor lease so he could not make an official comment on the matter.
We will just wait for the COA decision, and avail of the necessary remedies if needed, he said.
Meanwhile, they will continue to pursue their case at the Bacolod RTC , he added.
Commission on Audit chairperson Maria Gracia Pulido-Tan recently inhibited herself from the COA review of the sale and lease of the 7.7-hectare property, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said last week.
“Our understanding is that Chairman Grace Tan has inhibited herself over the concern that the law firm of her husband is the lawyer for the Sys,” he said.
The Sy family owns SM Prime Holdings that is opposing the Capitol’s sale and lease of its property to ALI.I
Bayhon said he had no knowledge about Tan inhibiting herself. “Her inhibiting herself is her choice,” he added.*CPG