Marañon mulls legal
option vs SMPHI
By: Dolly Yasa
BACOLOD City – Negros Occidental governor Alfredo Marañon yesterday said that the provincial government has not received yet an official copy of the Temporary Restraining Order issued by the Court of Appeals on the Capitol’s 7.7-hectare prime property it awarded to Ayala Land Inc.
The TRO was sought by SM Prime Holdings Inc. (SMPHI).
Marañon hinted that “a legal action against SMPHI is an option” for going to court after its failure to win the right to develop the property on lease and purchase mode.
When the provincial government receives the official copy of the TRO, he said he will direct the provincial lawyers to file a motion for reconsideration.
“That is the usual procedure,” he pointed point.
He claimed that in the absence of an official copy, the provincial government will continue with what they have to do as far as the Ayala Land deal is concerned, confirming further that the documents were already sent to COA Manila for approval. He clarified that the matter of COA review is procedural.
Thus far, he clarified that the copy they received came from SMPHI which he considers as “not binding and not official”.
Marañon admitted though that he is affected by the case being the governor who represents the people of Negros Occidental.
But he is thankful for the “tsunami” of support from various sectors.
He also justified that the provincial government prime lot was sold and leased to generate investments and job opportunities for Negrenses.
On the reported text messages calling for boycott of SM, Marañon said “that is one thing I would like to avoid, I don’t want to go to that extent.”
As far as his political relationship with Rep. Alfredo Benitez is concerned, Marañon said they are fine, comparing the situation with a basketball game where one team loses to the other team.
Benitez was the one who accompanied SM top man Hans Sy to Marañon when he submitted their unsolicited proposal.
“There is no problem with him,” Marañon said.
He said that he has also talked with Benitez and they both agreed to just let the court settle the SMPHI case.
Emmanuel Jalandoni, Ayala Land vice president, met Marañon in a closed door meeting yesterday morning at the latter’s office.
When asked what they discussed, Marañon told reporters that Ayala Land has offered to help the province in the case against SMPHI.