AFTER 35 years, the Prieto-Rufino family will vacate the government-owned “Mile Long” after the Court of Appeals (CA) granted the executive department’s plea for its immediate eviction, a property firm owned by the Prietos said on Wednesday.
“Last Tuesday, August 15, at around 5:45 p.m., Sunvar and “all persons claiming rights under it” were served at Mile Long with a “Notice to Vacate” the premises within three days. The Notice, issued by the RTC Makati 141 (“RTC 141”), was made pursuant to a Resolution promulgated by the Court of Appeals on August 14 directing, among others, RTC 141 to enforce the 2015 Decision of the Metropolitan Trial Court of Makati Branch 61 (“MeTC Decision”) ordering Sunvar to vacate Mile Long and pay back rentals,” Sunvar Realty Development Corp. said in an official statement posted on INQUIRER.net.
“While Sunvar has appealed the MeTC Decision, it is committed to abiding by the legal process. In accordance with that commitment, Sunvar will comply and vacate Mile Long,” it added.
MeTC is the Metropolitant Trial Court.
The INQUIRER.net and Sunvar are businesses owned by the Prietos.
INQUIRER.net is the online unit of the Inquirer Group of Companies (IGC), which also includes the Philippine Daily Inquirer and Radyo Inquirer, among others.
On Monday, the CA’s 5th Division headed by Associate Justice Jose Reyes issued the resolution ordering Sunvar to vacate the property.
The motion was directed to the Metropolitan Trial Court, which had ordered Sunvar to vacate the premises and to pay back rentals amounting to more than P478 million as of May 15, 2015 and monthly rentals of P3.2 million from June 15, 2015 up to and until it would vacate the premises.
“Some 35 years ago, Sunvar leased undeveloped land of the government upon the understanding, reflected in contracts annotated in the title of the land, that the lease period would expire in 2027. Sunvar paid 16.8 million as advance rentals, and expended millions more to build roads, buildings, and infrastructure to develop the property which is why it is so valuable now. Relying on the same contract and understanding, small business owners and taxpayers purchased condominium units in Mile Long that are now the source of their livelihood,” Sunvar said.
“Some 35 years ago, at a time of political and economic uncertainty, Sunvar entered into a legitimate commercial transaction. It has pursued legal remedies to resist ejectment firmly believing there is a binding contractual commitment on the part of the government to honor a lease that is set to expire only in 2027. Sunvar understands that the government has taken an opposite view,” it added.
“Sunvar continues to have faith in the law and legal process.” ANGELICA BALLESTEROS