‘FOR MOVE AKIN TO LAND GRAB’: SSS scores Henry Sy Jr. company

MANILA — Social Security System (SSS) Commissioner Pompee La Viña on Monday slammed the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), a company owned by Henry Sy Jr., for threatening to expropriate SSS property in Pasay City earmarked for the construction of the SSS Corporate Center of the South, which includes a hospital for SSS members and pensioners. NGCP is seeking to acquire 60,872 square meters of the 129,548 square meter lot along Diokno Avenue in Pasay City near the Film Center of the Philippines, Government Service Insurance System, SM Investment Properties, among others. Commissioner La Viña told a press conference that NGCP is inconsiderate and insensitive because it is hurting the lives of 34 million SSS members and pensioners who rely heavily on SSS services, of which the planned construction of the SSS Corporate Center of the South and hospital are supposed to provide. “Kaunting malasakit lang po. Huwag po sana nating kunin ang lupa ng mahihirap na Pilipino. Sana, huwag po natin silang gugulangan; sana po huwag po natin silang apihin,” La Viña said. The SSS contends that NGCP -as a private corporation- has no authority to expropriate public properties, and questioned why NGCP is exercising expropriation considering such is a sovereign power granted by the constitution to the government as inherent power of the state. On May 26, 2016, NGCP amended its July 16, 2015 complaint and increased the property to be expropriated from 42,218 to 60,872 square meters and likewise increased the per square meter price from P3,000 to P24,000, or a total of P1,460,928,00. But La Viña stressed that the property is worth much more than that. “Malulugi po ng halos P10 bilyon ang mga mamayang Pilipino kung ituloy niyo po yan. lto po ay di hamak mas masahol pa sa krimeng plunder!” SSS, thru the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC), filed a Petition for certiorari with Prayer for the Issuance of a Status Quo Ante Order and/or Writ of Preliminary Mandatory Injunction on May 17.