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Court hears petition of Rico’s Lechon

By: Ador Vincent S. Mayol October 04,2017 - 10:47 PM



IN a bid to compel Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña to grant Rico’s Lechon its business permit, the owner of the company took the witness stand on Wednesday in a petition for the issuance of a writ of preliminary or mandatory injunction filed against the Cebu City government.

Enrico “Rico” Dionson, who established the famed Rico’s Lechon chain of restaurants in Cebu, was the first of three witnesses to be presented by the company before Judge James Stewart Ramon Himalaloan of Regional Trial Court Branch 7.

Dionson told the court that Rico’s Lechon has been doing its best to comply with all requirements for the business permit.

“I know for a fact that we have a barangay clearance, but as to other documents, I have no idea. I relegated the matter to my staff,” he said.

Dionson’s lawyer Deolito Alvarez said that last August, 3MRS Dionson Corp., which is doing business under the name “Rico’s Lechon,” received a notice to comply with the business permit requirements which included the company’s occupational tax and unregistered weighing scale.

After Rico’s Lechon complied with the two requirements, Alvarez said his client received a show cause notice, asking the latter to explain within 10 days some supposed deficiencies.

But four days after the show cause order was issued, the city government ordered the closure of the petitioner’s establishment, said Alvarez.

Cebu City lawyer Bernard Garcia said Dionson must comply with all the requirements for a business permit if he wants his company to be reopened.
“For that to be done, he must submit all the required documents mandated by law,” Garcia said.

Last August, the city government closed the commissary of Rico’s Lechon at Highway 77 in Barangay Talamban, and its two restaurants in Barangays Mabolo and Kamputhaw.

Hoping to compel the city government to reopen the establishment, Rico’s Lechon decided to seek the court’s intervention.

The petitioner cited Mayor Osmeña’s “positive legal duty” to act on their business permit applications, but the mayor has “unlawfully refused” to do so.

The petition also said that under the Cebu City Citizen’s Charter, the mayor has one to two days to act on business permit applications submitted by establishments.

In earlier interviews, Osmeña said he would not approve Rico’s Lechon’s business permit application even if they comply with the requirements because it could not undo the fact that the company operated for the past five years without a business permit.

Rico’s Lechon management, however, argues that the mayor could not arbitrarily refuse to grant the company a business permit.

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TAGS: court, lechon, petition

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