DE­TER­MINED TO­MAS

De­spite crit­i­cisms, Os­meña firm about build­ing skate park, sports hub at con­tro­ver­sial SRP lot

Cebu Daily News - - SPORTS - by Morex­ette Marie B. Er­ram RE­PORTER

Cebu City Mayor To­mas Os­meña is still de­ter­mined to build a skate park and a one-stop sports hub in the con­tro­ver­sial 26-hectare lot at the South Road Prop­er­ties (SRP) de­spite crit­i­cisms from the op­po­si­tion Barug Team Rama-PDP La­ban party.

In a press con­fer­ence last Mon­day, June 11, 2018, Os­meña slammed op­po­si­tion coun­cilors Joel Gar­gan­era and Jose Daluz III, who urged the mayor to find an­other lo­ca­tion for the skate park and the sports hub.

Although both rec­og­nized the need for a pub­lic sports fa­cil­ity, Gar­gan­era and Daluz asked the mayor to “be more sin­cere” in his plans and not drag sports en­thu­si­asts to rally for a sports hub in the prop­erty that they say was pur­chased by SM Prime Hold­ings, Inc. (SM), and Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI), as a con­sor­tium in 2015. The group won the bid for the 26-hectare Lot No. 8-B-1 at SRP with a bid of P10 bil­lion.

But Os­meña had been as­sert­ing his claims that the sale be­tween Ayala and SM and the Cebu City gov­ern­ment, which was headed by his archri­val and former Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, was il­le­gal.

He said the ab­sence of an ap- proval from the Com­mis­sion on Au­dit (COA) to dis­pose the city­owned lots, and a copy of the deed of sale, suf­fice as grounds to make the trans­ac­tion il­le­gal.

“There were a to­tal of nine de­fects on the prop­erty and the trans­ac­tion. Even the coun­cil doesn’t have the deed of sale. (Rama) does not have the ti­tle and if I give the ti­tle, I will be sued,” said Os­meña.

Dur­ing an ex­ec­u­tive ses­sion last May 8, rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Ayala-SM con­sor­tium were sum­moned by the coun­cil and were re­quested to pro­vide them a copy of the deed of sale. The group’s lawyers were able to pro­vide a soft copy of the deed of sale but the coun­cil was not sat­is­fied and asked for a hard copy. At press time, there are no up­dates yet to whether they were able to pro­vide one.

It can be re­called that Os­meña, in Septem­ber 2017, re­quested for COA’s opin­ion to de­ter­mine whether or not the trans­ac­tion was valid. But he said on Mon­day that they have yet to re­ceive a re­sponse from state au­di­tors.

“We’ll work on that later on. One step at a time,” Os­meña said.

For now, Os­meña is stick­ing to the plan to build the skate park and the sports hub at the SRP.

“[Build­ing the skate park at the SRP is] not ques­tion­able. It’s only ques­tion­able on [the op­po­si­tion’s] minds. It’s the best area. Be­cause you have ac­cess from Mam­bal­ing,” Os­meña said.

Os­meña’s plan to build a skate park stemmed from a post on his of­fi­cial Face­book page last May 31 from ne­ti­zen Rauell Ygot, who sug­gested for a pub­lic skate park to be built in Cebu City.

Ygot came up with the idea fol­low­ing the im­pres­sive per­for­mance of Ce­buana skate­boarder Margielyn Di­dal in the 2018 Street League Skate­board­ing in Lon­don, Eng­land held last May 26 to 28, where she fin­ished eighth.

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