HLURB’s intervention sought in Makati condo builders’ row
One of the two condominium developers whose security guards and workers figured in a tense standoff Friday over the control of a road has revealed plans to take the dispute before the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB).
In an e-mail to the Inquirer, Century Properties Group Inc. spokesperson Terrie Fucanan-Yu said the company has prepared a letter to HLURB Commissioner Antonio Bernardo to “request (the board’s) intervention as a third-party government agency to give due recourse to a situation that it is facing with Picar Development Inc.”
Century and Picar are currently building condos next to each other on Kalayaan Avenue, Makati City. Their workers figured in a scuffle, and Century claimed that Picar guards fired their shotguns on two occasions Friday to stop Century’s installation of lampposts on a “common road” separating the two projects.
Century officials reported the incidents to the Makati police, but Picar’s spokesperson Cherry Julian disputed the accounts concerning the gunshots. Julian, however, explained that as “co-owners” of the road “we tried to resist because we had to protect our interests.”
“As Century does not want the situation to escalate into possible violence with our people on-site, we are seeking help from the HLURB. We hope they will assist in resolving the matter,” Yu said in Sunday’s statement.
Yu said the disagreement with Picar was mainly about the completion of roadworks which, she said, “form part of the deliverables of the Century City project in Makati.”
“One of the works we implemented which met resistance from Picar security was the installation of a traffic light system on Kalayaan Avenue that Century is donating to Makati City,” she said, adding that the system was put up on a public pedestrian lane, not a Century or a Picar property.
Yu also cited other works being done on a road from General Luna Street to Kalayaan Avenue, which include the setup of streetlights, landscaping, asphalt-laying and marking of pedestrian lanes.
She alleged that Picar had refused to allow these additional works and tried to stop Century workers using its security force. “On Friday, Picar installed boom barriers on a portion of the road near Kalayaan Avenue. On Friday evening and the next day, it positioned in the same area a total of three buses near Kalayaan Avenue. On Sunday, it added two vehicles and a bus, blocking access from Kalayaan Avenue.”
The Century spokesperson also said Picar agreed in October to let Century do those improvements but had since been delaying their implementation.
Reached for comment, Julian countered that “you cannot call that an agreement since our communication was only through letters expressing intent to improve that road but there was no final decision yet.”
The supposed agreement cited by Century was not legally binding since both camps had not even discussed the details of the plan, she said. “We were just on the documentation phase so we were shocked when they already had contracts which did not involve Picar as a signatory.”
“We stopped negotiations because we asked them to amend the contracts and include Picar as a signatory. But instead of fixing the documents, they decided to implement the improvement works on the common road,” she said.
As to Friday’s tensions, “I am repeating that those allegations are false,” Julian said. “The gunshots did not come from our end.”
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