ICTSI disputes GSIS claim on 67-ha land
Businessman Enrique Razon Jr. is standing his ground against the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) which earlier this week announced a plan to sell the land on which the tycoon’s flagship port operation stands, the land which the state pension fund said it owned.
In a statement sent to the Inquirer, International Container Terminal Services Inc. claimed that what the GSIS was holding to claim ownership of the disputed 67-hectare real estate in Manila’s port area was “at most, only a naked title” without the corresponding right to use the property.
The company explained that what the GSIS believed granted it ownership was a title for land reclamation granted to the fund by President Marcos through a 1975 decree. At that time, over half of the disputed property was underwater and had yet to be reclaimed from Manila Bay.
“Three months after Presidential Decree 802, the Philippine Ports Authority charter was issued where all port facilities, land, buildings, movable and immovable properties, intangible assets, powers, rights, foreshore lease and other privileges were transferred to the PPA,” ICTSI said.
In early 1978, another Marcos decree—PD 1284—expressly repealed PD 802 which is the source of the GSIS title.
The franchise of Manila International Port Terminal Inc., ICTSI’s predecessor, was also amended by decree, giving the PPA the responsibility to plan, design, construct and develop the port complex.
“And the revenue collected at the Manila International Container Terminal was decreed to belong to the PPA, after deducting the fees of MIPTI for management of MICT,” the firm said. “It was the PPA which then funded and completed the reclamation and construction of MICT using a loan from the Asian Development Bank.”
GSIS president and general manager Jesus Clint Aranas earlier announced plans to sell the sprawling property, describing it as a nonperforming asset that would better benefit the pension fund’s 1.5 million members to the tune of P33.6 billion once auctioned off.
The firm said that, after the Edsa Revolution in 1986, the franchise of MIPTI to operate the port was cancelled. It was consequently auctioned off and was, once more, won by Razon in 1987.
“So the GSIS has, at most, only a naked title, but the right to use the subject land belongs to the PPA,” ICTSI said. “Whoever buys from the GSIS gets only a naked title but no right to use the land.”
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