Capitol may resume pay parking fees; court suit dismissed

By: Ador Vincent S. Mayol January 28,2014 - 12:08 PM

The collection of parking fees at the Capitol compound can continue – if officials decide to resume the practice.

A court dismissed the petition of a lawyers’ group that protested the pay parking policy of then governor Gwendolyn Garcia inside the Capitol compound and the installation of cameras aimed at the office of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.

Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Silvestre Maamo said the Cebu Lawyers For Unity and Brotherhood (CLUB) and lawyer Elias Espinoza didn’t pursue the case after Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III was elected to office in May 2013.

Citing Rules on Civil Procedure, Maamo said the legal action “may only be continued and maintained by or against his successor if within 30 days after the successor takes office or such time as may be granted by the court.”

The judge said he has to dipose of the case “to prevent their dockets from being clogged.”

The lawyers argued that the Capitol had no power to confer upon anyone, such as its Economic Enterprise Council (ECC), the ability to collect taxes and other charges like  parking  fees.

The ECC  passed a resolution in 2008 imposing a pay  parking  scheme for vehicles  parked  in the Capitol area.

The  Cebu  Provincial Board approved the pay parking scheme through an ordinance.

Named defendants in the petition were former Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, the Cebu Provincial Board, the chairman and members of the ECC  and former Capitol consultant Byron Garcia, among others.

In an interview, lawyer Edgar Gica of CLUB said he was surprised with the court’s dismissal.

He said the group will seek a reconsideration on the ruling.

Gica said he will also get the consensus of the group on the possibility of directly asking Governor Davide to stop the collection of parking fees at the Capitol compound.

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TAGS: Cebu City, Palace of Justice, Supreme Court

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