GSIS backpedals on planned sale of port property
MANILA, Philippines – The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) is no longer bent on selling the Manila North Harbor property where tycoon Enrique Razon's port operates.
In a text message by GSIS Chairman Rolando Macasaet to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III on Thursday, July 4, he said that the board revoked resolutions authorizing the sale of the property "until further review and consultation with all concerned stakeholders."
Macasaet also insinuated that resigned GSIS president and general manager Jesus Clint Aranas was not truthful to the board over the matter. (READ: TIMELINE: GSIS, Enrique Razon's dispute over port property)
"In fairness to the board, Atty Aranas always assured the board that this transaction had the approval of [President Rodrigo Duterte]," Macasaet told Dominguez.
Macasaet now serves as acting head of the agency.
The 67-hectare property, estimated to cost at least P33 billion, is the subject of a decades-long legal battle between the GSIS and Razon's International Container Terminal Services Incorporated (ICTSI).
Last June 26, Aranas reiterated the agency's plans to sell the property.
ICTSI insisted that the GSIS only has a "naked title" and has no right to use or sell the property.
A week after, Aranas quit his post.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo initially sent reporters a statement which said that Duterte had lost confidence in Aranas.
Panelo then retracted that statement and sent another one which said that Duterte did not cite any reason or comment. – Rappler.com
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