MANILA, Philippines – After more than two decades, a lot owner will receive the rest of the compensation owed by the Caloocan City government.
The Commission on Audit (COA), in a September 24 decision released last week, upheld its ruling in 2017 granting the unpaid claim of Recom Realty worth P47.288 million as compensation for the city’s takeover of its 6,901-square-meter property in Maypajo, Caloocan City, in 1996.
Recom Realty is not connected to ex-Caloocan mayor Enrico “Recom” Echiverri.
Recom Realty also stands to get at least P59.583 million from the city government in legal interest at 6% computed from 1996 to 2017, as well as P472,883 in attorney’s fees.
The Caloocan City government expropriated the Maypajo lot in 1996. Based on a June 2003 assessment by Caloocan City Regional Trial Court Branch 125, the property was valued at P49,735,200 or around P7,208 per square meter.
The city partially paid Recom Realty P2.447 million in 1998. COA said Caloocan City had yet to pay the balance of P47.288 million since then.
Initially, in its 2017 ruling, COA decided that out of the P59.583 million in legal interest, only P29.319 million would be shouldered by the city government. The amount represents the interest computed from August 1996 up to November 2006, when the Caloocan court ruled with finality on the compensation cost.
The interest computed from November 2006 until the obligation is completed would have been borne by certain city officials for failing to enact the ordinance to fully pay the compensation.
But in its September 2019 decision, COA granted the appeal of the city officials who argued against their liability.
COA agreed that the city officials cannot be liable since they “observed due process” in waiting for the court’s final decision on the compensation cost, and “acted in good faith” in protecting the city’s funds while COA had not yet decided on Recom Realty’s claim. – Rappler.com