NEWS: After 10-year court battle with USEP, Tagum City govt gets 30-hectare park

dec 9

The Supreme Court has ruled with finality and ordered it executory that the 30.6-hectare land that is now billed by the City Government under the administration of Mayor Rey Uy as Energy Park belonged to the City Government and not to the University of Southeastern Philippines (USEP).
After almost 10 years of court litigation, the Supreme Court ruled to deny the motion for reconsideration filed by USEP following adverse decision of the Court of Appeals based in Cagayan de Oro City upholding the Regional Trial Court 1 in Davao del Norte that ruled that the contentious land belonged to the City Government in view of the favorable findings of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources .
Mayor Uy said: “Finally the issue is settled, it’s time to develop the property for the welfare of the students.”
He said that with the ruling, ” the City Government will appropriate money for the USEP’s agriculture department development”.
Before the Supreme Court ruling received by City Legal Officer Atty. Roland Tumanda on November 26, 2008, Mayor Uy in his term prior the city mayorship of Gelacio Gementiza undertook development of the the 30.6-hectare land within the city claiming that the land was idle.
Uy’s move however triggered suit from USEP which saw the 82.6-hectare land situated in Apokon as belonging to USEP’s properties.
But the Tagum City Government claimed only 30.6 hectares of USEP’s supposed vast properties in Tagum areas.
Then DENR secretaries  Antonio Cerilles and Michael Defensor ruled in favor to the City Government even if former City Mayor Gementiza during his term starting 2001 withdrew the case.
The Supreme Court in its ruling however gave a 52-hectare land adjoining the presently called Energy Park to USEP.
When Uy was elected again as city mayor last 2004, City Legal Officer Tumanda re-filed the same to the court.
The Energy Park land has recently became the venue of the provincial jamboree, while in portions of the wide swath of the land the Bureau of Food and Drugs and Administration (Mindanao office), Department of Education (DepEd) and the TESDA had already established their offices on it.
Officials of Pag-ibig and SSS have been reportedly hesitant to construct their own buildings given that the 30.6-hectare land that Mayor Uy has been offering as spaces of national government agencies to own had then been awaiting for a ruling by the Supreme Court. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)
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