SM Group sues gov't over LRT-MRT common station
MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATED) SM Prime Holdings Inc., the property unit of retail tycoon Henry Sy, on Tuesday, June 3, asked the court to stop the government from building the proposed P1.4-billion common station that will link the 3 railway transits in Metro Manila at the Trinoma shopping mall owned by Ayala Land Inc.
In a petition for injunction filed before the Pasay City Regional Trial Court, SM Prime also asked the court to order the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) to honor the provisions of a memorandum agreement they signed in 2009.
Under the MOA, SM Prime said LRTA agreed to interconnect the Light Rail Transit Line 1 and Metro Rail Transit Lines 3 and 7 through a common station in front of SM City North EDSA and name the station after the mall, in exchange for a grant of P200 million from SM Prime.
"Then, suddenly, in complete breach and disregard of the terms of the MOA, and without any official notice to SMPHI despite the latter's repeated formal inquiries, the DOTC unilaterally relocated the station to Trinoma and made the same a mere component of the recently bid out LRT Line 1 Cavite Extension Project,” SM Prime in a statement said.
"SMPHI now seeks to enjoin the DOTC and LRTA from proceeding with the above plans, and instead, honor its legal obligations under the MOA,” the property firm added.
SM Prime said the proposed Common Station in front of SM North EDSA was duly approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Inter-agency Coordinating Council as a priority infrastructure project in 2007. It was approved by the NEDA Board on July 7, 2009.
However in 2013, transport officials reported the possible relocation of the proposed common station to Trinoma, saying this would generate as much as P1 billion in savings for the government.
DOTC spokesperson Michael Arthur Sagcal said in a text message that the agency has yet to receive a copy of the case.
“Our legal department is already reviewing the pertinent provisions of the MOA between LRTA and SM… We will be ready to defend our position in court,” Sagcal said.
The common station will connect LRT 1 from Baclaran, Pasay City to Roosevelt, Quezon City; MRT 3 from North Avenue in Quezon City to Taft Avenue in Pasay City; and the proposed MRT 7 of conglomerate San Miguel Corporation. MRT 7 will run from Tala, Caloocan City and pass through Lagro and Fairview, Novaliches, Batasan, Diliman, Philcoa, before ending at EDSA corner North Avenue in Quezon City.
The government hopes to complete the common station by the third quarter of 2015. – Rappler.com
(Editor's note: In a previous version of this story, it was written that LRT 1 runs from Baclaran to Monumento. This has been corrected in this version from Monumento to Roosevelt, Quezon City. Also, the proposed MRT7 will run before ending EDSA, specifically corner North Avenue, Quezon City, which has also been updated in this version. We apologize for the error.)