MCWD ‘terminated’ board pursues case against Labella, LWUA
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The terminated board members of Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD), who filed a petition to nullify both the notice of termination issued against them by Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella and the decision of the Local Water Utility Association (LWUA) to appoint an interim board, continue to pursue the case even if the MCWD has withdrawn as plaintiff of the petition.
The MCWD directors, Ralph Sevilla, Augustus Pe, and Cecilia Adlawan, on their capacities, decided to push through with the case and recently filed a motion to declare the defendants, Labella and LWUA, as default.
A motion to declare the defendants as default can be filed by the prosecution when the defendant failed to answer the summons of the court within a given period of time.
If the court grants the motion to declare the defendants as defaults, Labella and LWUA will no longer be able to present their pieces of evidence in court.
“MCWD Directors Ralph Sevilla, Augustus Pe, and Cecilia Adlawan are actively pursuing the case they filed against Mayor Labella. Also, once defendants are declared in default, the complaint will be considered unopposed. Sevilla, Pe, and Adlawan are confident they will win their case against Mayor Labella.” said Lawyer Amando Virgil Ligutan, the legal counsel of Sevilla, Adlawan, and Pe.
The camp of Labella has yet to comment on the case and queries sent by CDN Digital remain unanswered as of press time.
On December 16, 2019, the MCWD withdrew as a plaintiff from the case seeking nullification of their termination. This followed shortly after the LWUA released its decision affirming the termination.
The three directors claimed that Labella “maliciously and intentionally” violated various sections of Presidential Decree 198 or the Provincial Water Utilities Act of 1973, and LWUA overstepped its function by designating an interim board instead of strengthening the independence and autonomy of MCWD as a local water utility. /dbs
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