OFFICIAL STATEMENT OF MAYOR JOHN BONGAT (Re Heirs of Mariano vs. City Govt of Naga) Wednesday, May 2
Marhay na aldaw po sa mga tugang ming taga-Naga sa laog asin luwas kan Pilipinas. An aldaw pong ini, Mierkules, Mayo 2, 2018, ikukurit sa historia kan Ciudad nin Naga bilang Aldaw nin Paglaum. A Day of Hope. Because starting today, we will bring hope for the future of our city; we will unite to defend our home! Much to the great surprise of the City Government and the people of Naga, the 1st Division of the Honorable Supreme Court ruled that this piece of land, where our City Hall stands ~ the symbol of Naga’s greatness, does not belong to the City and its People. That this land that has nurtured leaders, the land that has empowered the people from whom we derive our strength as Nagueños, has to go. That it has to be returned back to the heirs of its donors, the late Macario Mariano and the late Jose Gimenez. The decision, penned by the Hon. SC Justice Noel Gimenez Tijam, who, incidentally lived here in our beloved City of Naga during his elementary and high school years, says that we pay a whopping P255 million in rentals since 2003, or to the tune of PI.25 million monthly rent until fully paid, exclusive of the sale value of the property, which the city may opt to pay should it decide not to leave its premises and instead buy the same. This decision, if not reversed, will definitely take its irreparably damaging toll on the city’s growth, as its resources will have to be rechannelled to such payments instead of their being continuously allocated for the attainment of its sustainable development objectives it set for itself and its people. It is indeed with deep sadness that this unexpected turn of events has to happen at a time when the city braces for better things to come, after being hailed for 4 consecutive years now as the country’s most competitive city. The Honorable 1st Division of the Supreme Court, in denying the City of Naga’s rightful ownership and possession over the City Hall compound and the Naga City Civic Center — will mean leaving the place we have always called our home for nearly 6 decades since the main building of City Hall was built in 1959, right here in what is now regarded as the country’s center of good governance. This 5-hectare property is home to City Hall, its other office buildings and facilities, and to the office buildings and facilities of numerous national government agencies as well as other professional and civic organizations, including the RTC and MTC Halls of Justice owned by the Supreme Court. Kun kaidto City Hall sana, ngonian gabos nang mga opisina sa laog kan City Hall Compound asin sa Civic Center an pinapahali segun sa desisyon. In behalf of the people of Naga who continue to inspire us to lead the city to greater heights, we will file a Motion for Reconsideration to the Supreme Court en bane within 15 days from receipt of a copy thereof last April 24, 2018, or not later than May 9, 2018. Laoman po nindo na kaming mga opisyales kan ciudad, katuwang an lambang saro sa saindo, gigibuhon an gabos na aksyon legal, tama asin matanos, para gabos na presente asin masumnod pang henerasyon. Magkasararo po kita sa pagpamibi. My fellow Nagueños and Nagueñas all over the world, let us all pray for wisdom. Let us pray for justice. Let us not lose hope, as together, we shall defend our home, our future!