THE President’s Legal Counsel Salvador S. Panelo said that the Palace is now in a position to review the Technohub land development deal between the University of the Philippines (UP) and Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI) after obtaining copies of the contract.

In a briefing Thursday, Mr. Panelo said that the contract between UP and ALI governing the development of the UP Ayala Land Technohub arrived at the Palace Wednesday, a week after he told reporters that President Rodrigo R. Duterte gave the green light to review the contract for allegedly onerous provisions.

Mr. Panelo said “Pinadala ng vice-president nila (It was sent by the UP vice-president). We requested it.”

Mr. Panelo said he has yet to read the contract, to validate an initial finding that the deal is disadvantageous to the government, because ALI allegedly leases the property for P20 to P22 per square meter a month.

In a disclosure earlier this month, ALI said that it is actually leasing the property at P171 per square meter. ALI first leased and developed the property in 2008 and will turn it over to UP after 25 years in 2033. The deal calls for a payment to UP of P10.23 billion.

Mr. Panelo said he will review the contract to determine whether the government is receiving less than actual value for the land, which is located on the other side of Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City from the UP Diliman campus.

He will also seek to determine whether UP is responsible for demolition costs after the lease expires. — Gillian M. Cortez