Government lawyers asked the Court of Appeals (CA) on Friday to order the Makati City court to implement its order to the Prieto-Rufino clan to vacate the controversial Mile Long property in Makati City.
Solicitor General Jose Calida said Sunvar Realty, whom he tagged “Philippine Daily Squatter” should vacate the premises immediately.
In an urgent motion filed in June, Calida said the ruling of the Makati City Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) Branch 61 ordering the Prietos to vacate the Mile Long property and pay the government back rentals amounting to P1.66 billion should be implemented.
The Rufino-Prieto family has a long-standing lease on the controversial property that they have been sub-leasing to their tenants.
“When you speak against the government of President Duterte, it’s like you are immaculately clean. You have used your newspaper Philippine Daily Inquirer to shield your shenanigans,” Calida said.
“In truth, you guys are like the Kadamay squatters. You have been depriving the government of money that could have been used to fund projects for the poor,” he added, referring to Sunvar’s collection of rentals from its tenants in spite of the MeTC’s ejectment order.
“From the get-go, Sunvar never questioned the factual issues of the case. They just delayed everything. They filed baseless motions reaching up to the Supreme Court. That’s why it took almost six years before it was decided by the MeTC. Instead of abiding by the MeTC decision by vacating the property and paying rent, Sunvar filed one pleading after another to stop the government from implementing the decision. Sunvar did not even file a supersede as bond and deposit the accruing rentals every month as required by the Rules of Court to stay the execution [of the ejectment order]pending appeal,” Calida said.
The MeTC ordered Sunvar Realty “to vacate the premises and pay back rentals amounting to P478,200,600 as of May 15, 2015 with monthly rental of P3,209,400 beginning June 15 until the defendants shall have vacated the premises.
The government and the National Power Corp. (NPC) are the registered owners of several parcels of land located between Pasong Tamo St. and Vito Cruz Extension in Makati City, with a total land area of 125,607 square meters.
On December 26, 1997, the property was leased to the Technology Resource Center Foundation, Inc. (TRCFI) for 25 years beginning January 1, 1978 and ending on December 31, 2002, renewable for another 25 years.
The TRCFI granted Sunvar the option to sublease all portions of the property.
During the period of its sublease, Sunvar introduced improvements consisting of commercial buildings, what are known today as Premier Cinema, Mile Long Arcade, Makati Creekside Building, Gallery Building and Sunvar Plaza.
On June 3, 2002, the NPC notified Philippine Development Alternative Foundation (PDAF) of its decision not to renew the contract of lease as NPC’s assets will be privatized and the proposed renewal which shall be P1.25 per square meter per annum is grossly prejudicial to the interest of the government as the value of the said lands as of 1997 stood at P125,000 per square meter.
On February 22, 2008, the OSG advised Sunvar to vacate the property. When Sunvar refused, the government and NPC filed a complaint for unlawful detainer.