Century clarifies: Firm still owns site of MRT 7 depot
We write as counsel for Century Communities Corporation (Century) in relation to a news article, “Courts clear the way for MRT depot” (11/28/19).
The article mistakenly reported that the site along Quirino Highway, Barangay Lagro, Novaliches, for the MRT depot was “previously”owned by Century, which offered to sell the property at P394 million based on the appraised value of P3,600 per square meter.
We wish to clarify that Century is still the owner of the properties. While two Quezon City regional trial courts have issued writs of possession, these writs merely allowed the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to take possession of the property but did not in any way divest Century of its ownership.
Under Republic Act No. 10752, otherwise known as the Right of Way Act, there are several procedures that have to be undertaken before the government can fully acquire real property through expropriation. Until these steps have been fully complied with, the ownership of the properties remains with Century.
In fact, Century has taken and is taking legal steps in connection with the issuance of the writs of possession. This is because contrary to the clear requirements of RA 10752, no notice was given to Century prior to the issuance of the writs, and the amount deposited by the DOTr was way below that required by law.
Further, it was also inaccurate to report that Century – offered to sell the property at P394 million based on the appraised value of P3,600 per square meter.
The truth of the matter is that it was the DOTr which offered to purchase the properties in the amount of P3,600 per square meter.
This offer was expressly rejected by Century because the price offered by the DOTr is grossly inadequate compared to the actual market value of the properties, and there is no genuine necessity for the DOTr to purchase or expropriate the same.
The validity of the DOT’s offer to purchase vis-a-vis the requirements of RA 10752 is the subject of the Petition for Declaratory Relief filed by Century against the DOTr with the RTC of Mandaluyong.
We hope we have clarified the foregoing matters.
NILO T. DIVINA, ENRIQUE V. DELA CRUZ JR., JOHN MICHAEL S. GALAURAN, RHEGINE T. PERALTA, ELAINE B. TIU
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