By: Modesto Sa-onoy
THE LOGIC in the petition filed by SM Prime Holdings Inc. for the Register of Deeds to annotate a lis pendens or an adverse claim on the lot of the province is based on ‘belief” that it won the first bidding that was declared a failure.
When the bidding process is declared a failure it stands to reason (never mind the law) that there is no winner so that it is ridiculous for SMPHI to continue to insist that it won that bidding.
Even if SMPHI submitted the highest bid if that bidding is declared a failure, is that reason enough to claim victory?
Suppose there are two bidders, one has a higher bid than the other but because there were only two not at least three as required, can the higher bidder claim it won?
If this is the case then we might as well throw away that provision of law that the bids and awards committee has the right to declare a failure of bidding and just pick out the one with the higher bid.
But this is the logic of SMPHI and that makes us sick even if this company is among the most influential and the wealthiest corporation in this country. SMPHI should at least give people some respect because people do think, not just SMPHI and their wealth come from the patronage of people.
Unless in their perch, SMPHI forgot this fundamental fact.
Further, if a claim of winning the bid is based on “belief”, imagine the chaos that would ensue after each failed bidding!
We have heard of losing bidders crying foul but hardly in the sense that it won simply because it submitted a higher bid or as I said yesterday, it was the first to make an offer which, technically is not a bid at all and therefore, is really non-existent.
If we follow the logic of SM what can stop me from raking up the case questioning the legality of the sale of Bredco lots to SM citing the provisions of the Comprehensive Revised Reclamation Agreement because I “believe” the sale was fraudulent?
In fact I questioned before the Ombusdman the provisions of the CRRA of 1995 that is specific about the Bredco port ownership and the entire area for violation of the CRRA.
The city has still several claims on Bredco. We can cite once again the questionable swapping of the road lots that gave SM a consolidated piece of property where it now stands. This claim is not based on say-so or “belief” as in this case of SM’s petition for a lis pendens but on solid ground of a questionable swap that was clearly disadvantageous to the City of Bacolod.
But let’s allow it to lie for the moment until the situation calls for the resurrection of the case because instead of a legal issue, it has become a political issue that muddled the substance of the case.
Why did SMPHI resort to this tactics, this scheme that appears illogical? In fact it is still arguing before the court with that claim of being the winner. I am responding to their media blitz because it seems that they want to fight this in the public arena.
I am open to their reply or refutation of this column to give them fair shake but despite my challenge several times including the challenge to Commission on Audit to refute my facts, they have kept distant.
By the way, many of the data I copied from the internet about COA’s chair Pulido-Tan have disappeared from the COA website after I exposed them on this column. Unfortunately for COA, the facts are already in our possession but no new ones have come out from their web.
Why do you think COA has suddenly become non-transparent in the face of President Aquino’s call for transparency in government?
Aha! I have something new that I am validating at this stage but I will share them with our readers. This research was triggered by that letter of COA employees about “invasion” of outsiders in COA when Pulido Tan took office.
Now let’s get back to SMPHI and why it has asked the RoD for a lis pendens. This tactic, despite its being apparently unthinkable, is suspected to be an attempt to provide COA with a reason to delay the approval of the contract between the province and ALI.
Yesterday I called attention to the date of the petition for adverse claim – March 23. On March 19, three days earlier, COA met and supposedly came out with instruction for the “study” of the contract, a revalidation of the prices that had already been examined by the provincial and the regional COA that both recommended for approval. What happened? Let’s examine this for later.