Local News: SMPH-Capitol Hearing Reset
Due to gastro-enteritis, the legal counsel of the province of Negros Occidental Atty. Mary Ann Lamis, has requested that the hearing yesterday of the case filed by SM Prime Holdings Inc (SMPH), against the provincial capitol be reset.
Atty Vince Bayhon, left, legal counsel, SMPHI, tells Bacolod media after the court hearing yesterday was postponed upon request of reset by Atty. Mary Ann Lamis, legal counsel of Negros Occidental due to gastro enteritis, that he will always protect the interest of his client.* (EBColmo)
The case was a petition for the nullification of the contract between the provincial government and Ayala Land, Inc. relevant to the contract for the sale and purchase of 7.7 hectare property of the provincial government to Ayala Land, Inc.
Judge Estefanio Libutan, Branch 50 of the Regional Trial Court then set the hearing to June 29 after Atty. Lamis submitted a doctor’s certificate that she had gastro enteritis.
Atty. Vince Patrick Bayhon, Counsel for SMPHI said that they were supposed to cross examine the witness of the defense. Considering that the defense has requested for postponement, so the supposed cross examination yesterday, will be done on the next scheduled hearing on June 25, 2012.
Bayhon also said they will protect the interest of SMPHI to whatever decision that the Commission on Audit (COA) central office will make on the said contract between Capitol and ALI.
"It’s on the discretion of COA now to decide on the matter," Bayhon said.
He also pointed once COA’s decision is out and if it’s favorable to the said contract, then they will just find appropriate legal remedies available.
Reportedly, COA was supposed to come out with the decision last May 22, however as of yesterday, they have not received a copy of COA’s decision.
Provincial Board Member Salvador Escalante said that the commissioner of COA went abroad and was back only yesterday.
Bayhon said that their case before the local court is not subject to whatever decision the COA will come up. However, if the court nullifies the case, then everything is nullified.
SM has been insisting that they won in the first bidding conducted July 7, 2011 for the sale and purchase of the said capitol properties, however, it was declared a failure by the provincial Bids and Awards Committee.
SM has also a pending Motion for Reconsideration (MR) before the Court of Appeals on the injunction they filed.
Technically speaking, while there is pending case in court, no movement on the site shall be done by the contracting parties.*