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Portions of Paskuhan Village donated to Pampanga city

/ 01:33 PM July 11, 2020

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO–Real estate firm Premier Central Inc.(PCI) has donated a portion of the Paskuhan Village to the city that local officials hailed as another step to redevelop some areas of the disputed “cultural treasure.”

Mayor Edwin Santiago and Jeffrey Lim, PCI president, signed a deed of donation agreeing that PCI would give 5,000 square meters of land where the firm would build a two-story building and an amphitheater for the city.

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PCI bought the 9.3-hectare land for P939 million in 2014 from the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority under then general manager Mark Lapid.

But Deputy Speaker Aurelio Gonzales Jr. said the issue was “far from over.” “The real claim of ownership by the people of San Fernando, Pampanga, has just begun,” said Gonzales, who is also Pampanga representative.

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The signing of the deed of donation was part of a compromise agreement, which the Regional Trial Court Branch 42 here approved in January.

Precious gift

Santiago said the donation would be a “precious gift for the new and next generations of Fernandinos and Kapampangans.”

Gonzales said the agreement or compromise was an outcome of a “diligent effort on our part to liberalize Paskuhan Village from illegal sale.”

“But then again the measly area of 5,000 square meters is just alms compared to what was deprived from the people of San Fernando,” he said.

Illegal sale

In February, Gonzales asked President Rodrigo Duterte to help recover Paskuhan Village following findings by the House of Representatives that the sale to PCI and the signing of a compromise agreement by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) were illegal.

According to Gonzales, the court’s ruling “resulted in the disadvantage of the Filipino people” because the OSG and the local government of San Fernando asked the court to nullify the sale, not to arrive at a compromise agreement.

He cited a committee report that said the sale violated the Tourism Act of 2009, which prohibited the selling of cultural treasure and heritage sites. The right of first refusal by the local and provincial governments was also violated, the report said.

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The sale was not among the recommendations of the Commission on Audit, it said, adding that if a sale was allowed, this should have been done through public auction.

/MUF

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TAGS: Pampanga, Paskuhan Village, San Fernando City
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