Rama orders city lawyers to deal with ‘Maritima’ decision

IT WILL now be up to Cebu City’s legal department to defend the city’s “statutory rights” over the Compaña Maritima and its surroundings.

This was what Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023, a day after the Cebu Port Authority (CPA) posted four tarpaulins containing two pages of the writ of preliminary injunction (WPI) signed by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Cebu City, to remind the City on who owns the century-old structure.

On Dec. 23, 2022, RTC Branch 10 Judge Soliver Peras granted the petition for a WPI filed by the CPA.

“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, Jan. 17.

The property has been the subject of litigation since July 2015. A civil case is pending between CPA and Rama in his capacity as mayor.

Compaña Maritima and its surrounding areas are included in the P8 billion modernization plan for the Carbon Public Market which is being undertaken by Megawide Construction Corp. 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 has 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, Jan. 16. (PJB)