Rama slams SRP measure
NO one will stop him from discussing how to sell the South Road Properties (SRP) with interested buyers, said Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama.
He gave this statement after the City Council passed an ordinance prohibiting the mayor or any city personnel from disposing of SRP lots without prior approval of the City Council.
Rama said there’s no law violated when two people discuss a possible sale. It only become unlawful if he would enter into a contract without the prior consent of the council.
Rama criticized Councilor Noel Wenceslao, sponsor of the ordinance, for agreeing to the wishes of Rep. Tomas Osmena, Cebu City south district.
Wenceslao earlier admitted that he was under the instructions of Osmena when he drafted the ordinance.
Rama also questioned the council’s failure to call for a public hearing prior to the passage of the SRP ordinance.
“If the interest covers that of many, there is a moral dictate to call for a public hearing. You can’t be handling the SRP based on anybody’s desire,” he said.
Osmena, in a separate interview, said he didn’t dictate on Wenceslao to draft the ordinance, but he recommended it to the council.
Osmena said he spoke to the council and presented to them his opinion on the need to come up with an ordinance setting guidelines on how to go about the disposal of SRP lots.
“To me it is necessary. So, why do we have to fight over it? That will remind Mr. Rama that he is not king. He has to follow the law and he has to take his instructions from the city council,” said the congressman.
Osmena said that Rama cannot offer the SRP for sale to just any party and “drive prices down” by doing so.
Councilor Rodrigo Abellanosa, for his part, said that it’s incorrect to say that the ordinance was a duplication of the Local Government Code.
He said Section 5 of the ordinance couldn’t be found in the LGC.
Section 5 of the ordinance prohibits the mayor or any other city officials or employees from engaging in any transactions pertaining to SRP lot disposal. The function was designated only to the Cebu Investment Promotions Center (CIPC), the marketing arm of the SRP./Chief of Reporters Doris C. Bongcac