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Ormoc City sues Gaisano operator

THE CITY government of Ormoc, this week, has filed a case against the operator of the Gaisano Metro Ormoc that burned down in 2017, and is asking the Court to rescind its contract and the payment of more than Php 100-million in indemnities.

In a complaint signed by Mayor Richard Gomez after he was given authority to pursue the legal action by the Sangguniang Panlungsod, the city mayor is asking the Court to rescind the contract between the City and the Taipan Development Corporation entered into the parties in 1995; to issue a temporary restraining order and writ of preliminary injunction so that the City can take possession of the property; to vacate the premises; and pay the City Php 75-million representing the value of the lost property; another Php 34.7-million as lost income from rentals and real property taxes that the mall operator has not paid; and, Php 1-million in exemplary damages, aside from the interests on the awarded amounts. 

This, after arbitration between the two parties failed. 

To recall, the Gaisano Metro Ormoc burned down in a 3-day fire starting July 23, 2017. The fire, according to the official final investigation report that was issued November 8, 2017, was caused by the magnitude 6.5 July 6 earthquake that compromised its wirings. 

It was also found out that Taipan Development Corporation did not have the mall building insured with the Government Service Insurance System or GSIS, contrary to its contract with the city. The last time they paid insurance on the property was in the year 2014. 

A series of exchanges followed between the parties, leading to the formation of an arbitration committee. The arbitration failed. 

In the complaint, Mayor Gomez also impressed on the “urgent need” for the City to take possession of the disputed property as it now “poses danger to safety and health to the general public.” 

The Gomez administration, if given back the possession of the property, plans on building a 4-story parking lot on the same area. In an interview, Mayor Gomez said that the ground floor would have commercial spaces. 

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