Duterte to sell Mile Long property in Makati

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Sunvar will comply with the order to vacate the Mile-Long commercial strip in Makati. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 16) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said he will sell the Mile Long commercial property in the Makati financial district, owned by property firm Sunvar Realty Development Corporation.

In a speech at the 19th founding anniversary of advocacy group Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption, Duterte said the Sunvar property will be up for bidding.

"'Yang Sunvar na 'yan, I'm selling it, bidding 'yan. You want that piece of property? I'm putting you a notice. I'm selling that so that I can build more houses for the soldiers," he said.

Solicitor Geneneral Jose Calida accused Sunvar, owned by the Prieto and Rufino families, of owing the government ₱1.676 billion in unpaid rentals, excluding interest.

Duterte told Sunvar, "Pay your correct taxes and return all the properties of the people."

Read more: SolGen to Prieto-owned realty firm: Vacate 'Mile Long' property or face eviction

The regional trial court of Makati ordered Sunvar to vacate the commercial strip last August 15.

In a press statement, the property firm said it is committed to abiding by the legal process, but will comply with the order to leave the property.

"It has pursued legal remedies to resist ejectment firmly believing there is a binding contractual commitment on the part of the government to honor a lease that is set to expire only in 2027. Sunvar understands that the government has taken an opposite view," its statement read.

There was no mention of unpaid rentals or back taxes.

The firm occupied the three-hectare government property in 1982 under a lease agreement, which expired 20 years ago.

Sunvar said it paid P16.8 million as advance payment for the initial period of 25 years, which is renewable for another 25 years.

The Prieto and Rufino families also own the Philippine Daily Inquirer, a broadsheet often criticized by the President.