CPA posts tarpaulins on Compania Maritima to remind public of its ‘rightful owner’

PEDESTRIANS and motorists who pass by the abandoned Compania Maritima building in the downtown area of Cebu City may notice four tarpaulins posted on its walls.

The tarpaulins contain a copy of the writ of preliminary injunction (WPI) issued by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in December 2022.

Two tarpaulins can be found behind the Christmas tree, while the other two tarpaulins are on the wall facing the road leading to Carbon Public Market.

These were placed there by the Cebu Port Authority (CPA), which has been involved in a legal dispute with the Cebu City Government over ownership of the area.

Last December 23, RTC Branch 10 Judge Soliver Peras granted the petition for a WPI filed by the CPA.

As a result, the statutory rights of the Compania Maritima was returned to the CPA and the court ordered the City Government to evacuate and stop any development in the area.

The City Government and Megawide Construction Corporation signed a supplemental joint venture agreement for the modernization of the Carbon Public Market in July 2022, which included Compania Maritima premises.

As of Monday, January 16, 2023, the disputed area was strewn with garbage and occupied by some street dwellers.

Before the WPI was issued, the area was maintained by the Cebu2World Development Inc. (C2W) whose mother company is engineering and infrastructure innovator Megawide.

C2W cleaned up the shell of the Compania Maritima, landscaped the sidewalk and cemented the area around the building to get rid of the mud.

It also built the Puso Village, which has not been opened to the public even though its construction is completed.

An employee of C2W who asked not to be named said they have not touched the property and suspended all development in the area more than 20 days ago, or since the court issued the injunction.

City Attorney Eugene Orbita, in an earlier report, said the City would file a motion for reconsideration. (PAC, PJB)