COA asked: Defer review of Negros sale of gov’t lot
BACOLOD CITY—One of the country’s biggest real estate developers has asked the Commission on Audit to defer action on the sale by the Negros Occidental provincial government of a 7.7-hectare land to a rival company until questions on the deal have been resolved by the courts.
SM Prime Holdings Inc. (SMPHI), through its lawyers, informed COA that a case questioning the deal between the provincial government and Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) is pending and it would be prudent for the audit agency to defer action.
Government deals are reviewed by COA as a rule.
SMPHI has filed an amended petition seeking to annul the negotiated sale and lease of the piece of property by the provincial government.
The firm also filed a petition for certiorari at the Court of Appeals after Bacolod Regional Trial Court Judge Estefanio Libutan refused to issue a temporary restraining order to stop the deal.
The appeals court has issued a 60-day TRO to stop the deal.
Mary Ann Manayon-Lamis, Negros Occidental assistant provincial legal officer, said she was preparing a reply.
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