Rama: Cebu City Legal Office to take care of preliminary injunction against City Gov’t over Maritima’s ownership

THE Cebu City Government under Mayor Michael Rama announced that the City Legal Office will take care to protect the City’s “statutory rights” of the Compaña Maritima and its surroundings.

The Cebu Port Authority (CPA), which has been involved in a legal dispute with the City Government over ownership of the property, posted four tarpaulins containing two pages of the writ of preliminary injunction (WPI) signed by Lawyer Perpetua Socorro Enriquez-Belarmino, Clerk of Court VII of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Cebu City, on the walls of the abandoned building on Monday, January 16, 2023.

“My lawyer will take care of it. They know what to do and we don’t have to be telling (them) what to do,” Rama said on Tuesday, January 17.

On December 23, 2022, RTC Branch 10 Judge Soliver Peras granted the petition for a WPI filed by the CPA that returned the statutory rights of the Compaña Maritima to the CPA and ordered the City Government to stop occupying and developing the area.

Compaña Maritima and its surrounding areas are included in the modernization plan of the Carbon Public Market, which is being undertaken by the Megawide Construction Corporation under a joint venture agreement with the City Government.

Megawide, through its subsidiary Cebu2World Development Inc. (C2W), cleaned up the shell of the Compaña Maritima, landscaped the sidewalk, cemented the formerly pothole-ridden area surrounding the building to get rid of the mud and installed lights to showcase the structure as part of the mayor’s Singapore-like vision for the city.

However, since the court issued the injunction, the company stopped all development in the area, where the completed but still closed Puso Village also stands.

The commercial development beside the Compaña Maritima is part of the modernization project of the Carbon Public Market. It is intended to showcase the best of Cebu food and retail.

The parking lot, which was developed and operated by C2W before the injunction, was strewn with garbage and occupied by some street dwellers and dispatchers, as of Monday, January 16. / PAC