MCWD withdraws from case asking court to nullify termination of board members

By: Irene R. Sino Cruz December 16,2019 - 04:14 PM

Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella says he will soon appoint members of the Metro Cebu Water District (MCWD). | Irene R. Sino Cruz

CEBU CITY — The Metro Cebu Water District (MCWD) has withdrawn as plaintiff from the case seeking nullification of their termination.

“MCWD is withdrawing from the case that it filed for Declaration of Nullity of the Notice of Termination served upon the members of its Board by the Honorable Mayor (Edgardo Labella),” said Lawyer Rey Gealon, Cebu City legal officer.

Last November 8, the three remaining members of the  MCWD board, lawyers Ralph Sevilla and Cecilia Adlawan, and Augustus Pe Jr., sought the nullification of the notice of termination issued against them Labella as well as an order by the Local Water Utilies Administration (LWUA) designating an interim board.

With the withdrawal of of MCWD  as plaintiff, the MCWD legal department also withdrew as counsel to the plaintiff.

The notice to withdraw was signed by lawyers Rolando Lavilla Jr., Clairon Panares, Cynthia Montefalcon, Janneil Monica Morales, Marion Thursday Reguido and Paulo Escober.

In a message, Lawyer Rey Gealon who heads the city legal office, called the MCWD’s withdrawal as plaintiff a “welcome development.”

“The strength of the Mayor’s wisdom and reason, coupled with factual and legal bases as well as long-standing jurisprudence, to terminate its board members’ engagement may have descended upon MCWD, through its counsels,” Gealon added.

However, the legal counsel of Sevilla, Pe, and Adlawan said the case against the mayor and LWUA would continue.

“MCWD Directors Sevilla, Pe, and Adlawan are pursuing the case they filed against Mayor Labella. The case continues,” said Lawyer Amando Virgil Ligutan.

“The fact remains that Mayor Labella’s termination of the Directors was highly illegal. It won’t pass scrutiny in our courts,” Ligutan added.

In the notice of termination, Labella noted that the consumers of MCWD have been greatly dissatisfied with its present service. 

The mayor also noted that the local government executives in the areas and Sangguniang Panglungsod have also expressed their dissatisfaction.

Meanwhile, Mayor Labella told reporters he would name the new members of the MCWD in a month’s time.

The mayor said he has received several recommendations and applications for the positions./dbs

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TAGS: Adlawan, Gealon, MCWD, notice, sevilla, termination

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