Dean can sue in behalf of UP
THE University of the Philippines Cebu (UP Cebu) has obtained documents from the Office of the President of UP proving UP Cebu Dean Liza Corro’s authority to sue in behalf of the university.
This after Corro’s authority to sue was questioned, resulting in the dismissal of the injunction case filed by the university against City Hall officials to stop the re-blocking of the fire-stricken site in sitio in barangay Lahug, Cebu City.
The documents were presented in a 26-minute hearing of the second case the university has filed, this time, against the 74 informal settlers, who the university claims to have “forcibly entered UP property” even after the university claimed possession of the lot after the December 26 fire.
“This (document) is to certify that Atty. Liza D. Corro has the authority to institute legal actions to protect properties within the jurisdiction of UP Cebu, which are registered under the University of the Philippines,” the document signed by UP President Alfredo Pascual states.
It cited sections of the UP Charter which embraces the “One UP” policy, supported by the 1151st and the 1266th policies of the UP Board of Regents (BOR), which allows any administrative head from the component universities to pursue legal action for properties in their jurisdiction.
Despite the documents presented, Atty. Floro Casas Jr. still believes the case can be dismissed on the grounds of Corro’s lack of authority. Casas represented 40 out of the 74 informal settlers in yesterday’s hearing.
He was accompanied by Atty. Mikel Rama, and Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor chief Collin Rosell. Casas said Corro’s authority sourced out of the BOR policies, only state that Corro, as dean of UP Cebu with chancellor powers, can sue in behalf of the component university, but not of UP system itself.
This is the same argument used by City Hall lawyers in the first case filed by UP Cebu, which was dismissed by the Regional Trial Court last week.
UP Cebu legal counsel Atty. Rene Abcede said the arguments were “too technical” and hoped the case would not be dismissed by the Metropolitan Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) Branch 4, where the case against the informal settlers was filed.
The hearing yesterday was presided by Judge Jenelyn V. Forrosuelo, who asked both parties to submit memorandum and additional documents to support their arguments on January 29.
None of the informal settlers were present as they stayed behind in the fire site for fear that if they leave, the university may claim ownership of the lot.
Upon hearing the initial outcome of the case against them, Gulfan hoped as well that it will be dismissed, just like the first case UP filed against City Hall.
However, UP legal counsel Abcede said they are still considering filing a motion of reconsideration for the dismissed case, since their 15-day reglementary period has not yet ended.
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