MCIA general manager facing contempt complaint
AIRPORT LOT ISSUE
Although he was asked by the Regional Trial Court to explain why he should not be cited in direct contempt, lawyer Steve Dicdican, a board member of the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA), reiterated the MCIAA’s stand of not heeding the Supreme Court order to pay businessman Richard Unchuan P482 million for two parcels of land used by the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA).
Dicdican, who is also MCIA general manager, however, said in a statement on Friday that he would provide an explanation to the court.
He also reiterated the MCIAA’s stand on the issue that he announced in a press briefing on October 4.
“Compliance of the Supreme Court decision is not on the table. If we do not fight this now, MCIAA will become bankrupt and there will be no airport left. ... I have all the respect for the (SC) as an institution, but, as with all human institutions, it is far from infallible, given the conspiracies and circumstances going around,” Dicdican said in a statement on Friday.
Unchuan sought the court’s assistance after Dicdican’s October 4 press briefing.
The Lapu-Lapu City Regional Trial Court issued an order dated October 6 compelling MCIA general manager Steve Dicdican, who was the speaker during a press conference their organization held last October 4, to justify why he should not be cited in contempt of court.
Acting presiding judge Ester Veloso gave Dicdican 15 days, after receiving a copy of the order, to provide the court an explanation.
“(Dicdican) had a press conference before the lo- cal media where he uttered statements that appear to be contumacious and show complete disregard of the sub judice rule. During the press conference and as broadcasted in TV Patrol Central Visayas, (he) said that (Unchuan) was an illegitimate claimant, and that this court and the court sheriff was wrong,” Veloso stated in the order.
“The act of Atty. Dicdican is publicly discussing his disapproval of the decision of the Supreme Court (SC) and his open declaration to defy it brought the authority of the court and the administration of law into disrepute,” Judge Veloso said.
The Supreme Court earlier ruled in favor of Unchuan as the “true and legal” owner of two lots in Barangay Buaya in LapuLapu City, and ordered the MCIAA to pay him P482 million as rent from 2004 up to 2016, when the judiciary handed their decision on the case.
In a letter dated September 18, the Office of the President also issued an order addressed to Dicdican, instructing MCIAA officials to follow and act on the ruling of the SC.
Lots 4810-A and B, with an area approximately 150,000 square meters wide, are located within the 797-hectare airport complex wherein portions of it are used for the Mactan circumferential road.
But on October 4, 2017, Dicdican held a press conference announcing the MCIAA’s stand on the issue.