COURT JUNKS TRO PLEA. File photo of the Bacolod sign. The Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 44 junks the petition for the issuance of a temporary restraining order sought by two former city officials against the PHP1.7-billion project loan of the city government for 'lack of legal basis' on Thursday (March 28, 2019).
BACOLOD CITY -- The Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 44 has denied the petition for the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO), sought by two former city officials against the PHP1.7-billion project loan of the city government for “lack of legal basis.”
The ruling was stated in a four-page order issued by presiding judge Ana Celeste Bernad dated March 28. A copy of the order was received by the Office of the City Mayor on Friday.
“In the case at bar, after a careful analysis of the averments, contentions and arguments of the parties, the court finds no paramount necessity to issue the injunctive relief,” the order said.
“It is, however, of common knowledge that no local government unit can survive the pressing challenges of time and can withstand economic downfalls without relying in any loan assistance from the government, or any banking institutions,” it added.
The city government entered into a loan agreement with the Development Bank of the Philippines in December last year to fund the city’s four flagship projects.
The loan will be used for the PHP800-million construction of the Bacolod MassKara Coliseum with an outdoor arena; PHP350-million development of the Progreso Village Relocation Site; PHP350-million Bacolod City College Site Development and Facilities; and PHP200-million construction of roads and bridges.
The Bids and Awards Committee has already concluded the bidding process for the three projects, except for the coliseum.
The civil case for the application of TRO and/or preliminary injunction was filed last January by former councilor Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, who is running for mayor, and former vice mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson, who is seeking a return in the same post, in the May 13 elections. The third petitioner is contractor Antonio Wong.
The respondents include reelectionists Mayor Evelio Leonardia and Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, 10 members of the City Council, and several department heads.
The court order further said “(t)he petitioners in this case fall short in establishing an imminent or actual danger that would warrant the issuance of a TRO.”
“As a matter of fact, in releasing the proceeds of the loan, the petitioners failed to show a clear and unmistakable rights, which need the protection of an injunctive writ,” it added.(PNA)