I.T. Park wall ‘barricaded’; court extends TRO

By: Ador Vincent S. Mayol, Jose Santino S. Bunachita November 01,2014 - 09:04 AM

“We care for your safety. Please use the sidewalk on the other side of the road,” reads a sign by the Cebu I.T. Park management placed near concrete culverts that serve as plant boxes along the controversial wall in Geonzon Street in Cebu City.

The culverts, like two other sign boards that appeared this week, reinforce the message: “Private Property”.

The Cebu Property Ventures and Development Corp. (CPVDC) called the sturdy plant boxes and pipe railings part of their “landscaping” effort.

The other day, Cebu City Regional Trial Court , Executive Judge Soliver Peras extended to another 20 days the 72-hour temporary restraining order (TRO) against any demolition of the wall by the Cebu city government and Filinvest Land Inc.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said he will meet with City Hall lawyers to plan their next move.

“I don’t have any provel with the order. I would like to have a meeting with my lawyers to discuss what’s next,” he told reporters.

He declined to comment further to avoide being cited for contempt.

In his order, Judge Peras of the Cebu RTC said he needs to hear the arguments of the parties to find out who owns the lot where the controversial wall stands.

“Considering the urgency of the situation and whether there is just about 30 meters or 200 meters concrete perimeter fence, the point is, that is a private property that should be protected subject to the determination before this court whether or not it is within the property owned by the plaintiff or not,” he said.

“And therefore, there is a need for this court to protect the said concrete fence and to enjoin the respondents from demolishing it, otherwise plaintiffs would suffer grave and irreparable damage,” the judge added.

The court will hear the case from Nov. 4-7 and Nov. 10 to 12.

For his part, City Legal Officer Jerone Castillo said they will sustain their earlier stand that the wall needs to be taken down.

“We respect the court on the TRO issuance. It’s very good, now the courts can really see and interpret the law. As to our side, we will stand by our previous position,” Castillo said.

In a legal opinion last month, City Hall said the wall should be demolished for being “illegal” and a “nuisance” for preventing unhampered access into the W. Geonzon Street which is a public road, especially by Filinvest Land Inc. which is completing a cyberzone complex behind the wall as a joint venture with the Province of Cebu.

Last Monday, CPVDC and Asiatown IT Park Asociation Inc. represented by its president Francis Mondera and Nerissa Josef sought a restraining order to stop Cebu city and Filinvest from destroying its concrete wall.

CPVDC lawyer Teodoro Almase and Julius Neri asked the court to stop the city from declaring W. Geonzon Street a public road and award over P20 million in damages.

Meanwhile, the Filinvest Land Inc. (FLI) said in a statement that CPVDC’s filing of the case was done in “bad faith.”

“The filing of the case and its recent action to place culverts used as plant boxes along the sidewalk of the disputed road are acts that have also clearly defied and challenged the City of Cebu,” said FLI Vice Presiden Allan Go Alfon.

He said CPVDC’s case is impleading the Cebu Provincial Government in the issue.

“Our actions have been and will always be in compliance with the Build-Transfer-Operate (BTO) Agreement with the Cebu Provincial Government which states that the Provincial Government will ensure unconditional right of access and passage to W. Geonzon Street for the project,” he added.

But based on the TRO granted by court, the CPVDC impleaded the Cebu City Government, FLI and its contractor Megawide in the case.

CPVDC went to court to enforce its “rights over the perimeter fence and road—these being private properties belonging to the plaintiff. Subject CPVDC perimeter fence is not a party wall and was built at the sole expense of the plaintiff.”

They said CPVDC had a contract with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) which requires them to build perimeter walls to separate their industrial park from the rest of the area.

The City Legal Office, however, claimed that the government’s police power is superior over CPVDC’s contract with PEZA.

Related Stories:

The wall gets 72-hour reprieve

‘No demolition of concrete wall in IT park’

Ayala told to address Geonzon wall issue

 

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TAGS: CPVDC, Filinvest, IT Wall

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