cdn mobile

Court rejects Osmeña petition to stop cemetery closure

By: Ador Vincent S. Mayol July 21,2015 - 03:40 PM

The court turned down the petition of former Cebu City mayor Tomas Osmeña to stop the closure of the Doña Pepang Cemetery which City Hall plans to convert into a heritage park.

In an order dated July 20, Judge Alexander Acosta of the Regional Trial Court Branch 9 in Cebu City said Osmeña’s camp failed to comply with the basic requirements in filing a petition for prohibition.

He cited section 2, Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure which states that a petition for prohibition “shall be accompanied by a certified true copy of the judgement, order, or resolution subject thereof…”

Acosta said Osmeña considered Rama’s act of transforming Doña Pepang Cemetery into a heritage park as being beyond a mayor’s authority.

READ: Doña Pepang cemetery to be closed, made a park | Osmeña asks court to stop City Hall from evicting the dead in old city cemetery

“A reading, however, of the petition would disclose that petitioner (Osmeña) has failed to attach a certified true copy of the alleged ultra vires (beyond the powers) order of the Mayor Rama,” the judge explained.

Acosta also affirmed his earlier decision to deny Osmeña’s request for the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO).

“A careful scrutiny of the motion for reconsideration of petitioner, and assiduous re-evaluation of the records disclosed that there is no basis, in fact or in law, that would warrant a re-examination, much less, the modification or reversal of my (earlier) order,” he said.

The judge also disallowed other petitioners to intervene as complainants in the case, saying it is “utterly without basis.”

Mayor Rama earlier ordered the transfer of all graves in the cemetery, except for the Osmeña Mausoleum,  so the city could implement a 2008 plan to rehabilitate the area and develop an Osmena Memorial Park.

No more burials were allowed in the place after All Saints’ Day last Nov. 1. Settlers in the area were also told to vacate.

Osmeña filed the legal action for prohibition, arguing that Mayor Rama has no right to disturb the present condition of the cemetery which is named after the late wife of former president Sergio Osmeña Sr., Estefania Chiong Veloso. Also impleaded in the case was the Cebu City Council.

Cebu City Attorney Jerone Castillo sought the dismissal of the case, saying Osmeña’s camp failed to attach in its case a certified true copy of any order or resolution of Rama or the council.

The failure of Osmeña’s lawyer Benjamin Militar to comply with a pertinent requirement of the law caused its dismissal.

Castillo presented before the court a letter which Osmeña sent to then Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal on July 16, 2008, manifesting his desire to “put up a beautiful park” at Doña Pepang Cemetery.

An agreement was eventually signed between the Archdiocese and Cebu City swapping the cemetery for another city-owned property.

Castillo said the city could not understand why Osmeña, who was defeated by Rama in the 2013 elections, is now objecting to rehabilitating the area.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Read Next

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

TAGS: Cebu City, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, cemetery, Doña Pepang, Tomas Osmeña

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.