PH daily accused of squatting

THE Philippine Daily Inquirer, one of the famous newspapers based in Manila, has been accused of squatting for illegally occupying a 2.9 hectare prime Makati property since 2003, a report by MindaNation said Saturday.
The report said Solicitor General Jose Calida is going after a corporation owned by the Prieto and Rufino families, same families who control the Sunvar Realty that owes the Philippine government more than a billion in unpaid taxes.
“You owe the Filipino people P1.656-billion, excluding interests… You cannot do this to the Filipino people… You have been depriving the government of money that could have been used to fund projects for the poor,” Calida said in a statement.
Sunvar Reality occupied the government property in February 1982 under a lease agreement that expired in 2002. But on April 2002, eight months before the contract was set to lapse, Sunvar sent a notice saying that it would like to extend the lease. Which the government disapproved. What followed was a series of legal maneuvers by Sunvar’s attorneys, which has dragged the case for more than 15 years.
Then in December 2010, six months into the Presidency of Noynoy Aquino, the Makati City Regional Trial Court issued a decision in favor of the Prietos and Rufinos, stopping the hearing of the ejectment case filed by the government. This decision was overturned two years later by the Supreme Court. Still, the corporation refused to vacate the property.
“Despite notices, (they) continued to remain in possession and collect millions of rentals from its tenants. Dapat ang tawag sa kumpanya ninyo hindi Sunvar, kundi (The company should not be named Sunvar, but) Philippine Daily Squatter,” Calida concluded.
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