MANILA, Philippines – Property developer SM Prime Holdings Inc. said it will pursue its case questioning the awarding of the contract for the development of a 7.7 hectare property in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental to Ayala Land.
In a statement released Wednesday, SM Prime legal counsel Atty. Vincent Patrick A. Bayon said SM “will not abandon its cause and it remains confident that its efforts will result to a just and equitable resolution.”
SM Prime had sought to nullify the Ayala-Negros deal and to be declared the winner of the public bidding for the property, but Negros Occidental Regional Trial Court Branch 50 junked SM’s petition for certiorari against the negotiated sale and lease contract.
SM, however, said it has yet receive a copy of the decision.
“If it is true that the decision denied SM’s Petition, then SM has available legal remedies it may take,” the company said.
SM also said it believes that “the Province is entitled to no less than a fair and transparent bidding process.”
“SM has mounted a legal challenge against the Bidding Committee’s declaration of failure of bidding on July 17, 2011 upon its honest belief that the Province deserves the best offer in an actual competitive bidding over a negotiated sale with a particular company,” SM said.
SM Prime said it offered to purchase portions of the property at P18,885 per square meter and lease the remaining portion at P65 per square meters, or well within the price set by the awards committee.
SM Prime said Ayala Land submitted a bid that effectively offered to purchase the property at P17,000 per sq. m. and a lease arrangement of P50 per sq. m.
Ayala Land earlier said it planned to invest P6 billion to transform the Bacolod property into a mixed-use development with residential and commercial projects.