Sun gets TRO vs cellsite deactivation

By: Ador Vincent S. Mayol, Jose Santino S. Bunachita February 17,2016 - 10:14 PM

One of the two cell site towers in Barangay Apas, Cebu City will be deactivated today.

Raquel Arce, who heads City Hall’s Prevention, Restoration, Order, Beautification and Enhancement (Probe) team, said they will push through with the deactivation of Globe Telecom’s cell site in Sitio Calvary Hills in the barangay.

As for the cell site of Sun Cellular, she said the city will respect the 72-hour temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the court.

“I will push with the deactivation (of Globe). I’m asking the assistance of Globe officials to be there as well as the NTC to check if it’s really deactivated. This was agreed during our last meeting last Friday,” Arce said.

Apas Barangay Captain Ramil Ayuman said they also received a copy of the TRO yesterday.

He said the residents of Sitio Calvary Hills were disappointed with the decision since they were expecting the deactivation of the two towers today after a series of meetings with the city and the representatives of the two telecommunication companies.

“The people are really disappointed. We already had meetings to prepare for the deactivation. We prepared tarpaulins and we even invited more than a hundred people to witness the deactivation to show that even a small community can go against giants,” he said.

Residents living just around the two towers have been complaining of cancer-related deaths and ailments due to the alleged radiation from the towers.

The city council has already revoked the special permits provided to both companies, since the area is a residential area, while the mayor’s office has already issued a closure order for the towers.

But just the other day, the lawyers of Sun Cellular filed a case in court against the city.

Yesterday, they were able to secure a 72-hour TRO from the court said lawyer Eduardo Felipe, one of Sun Cellular’s legal counsels.

“This TRO was issued against the Sangguniang Panlungsod and the City Mayor not to enforce the SP resolution revoking DMPI’s special-use permit and desist implementation of the closure. With this, the deactivation cannot be implemented by the city,” he said in an interview yesterday.

Sun Cellular is seeking damages in the amount of P1.2 million.

Named respondents in the case were Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama in his capacity as chief executive official, Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella, Apas barangay captain Ramil Ayuman and Calvary Hills Apas Residents’ Organization led by its president Porponio Lapa Jr.

For his part, Mayor Rama welcomed the case filed by Sun Cellular.

He said it should resolve the issue once and for all before the court.

“That issue is very ticklish. Removing one, what will happen to the rest? Let the voices be heard so that either we retrogress or progress. There might be a better way,” Rama told reporters yesterday.

He said he will let the City Legal Office handle the issue.

The court will set a hearing to determine whether or not to extend the TRO while the main case for injunction will be heard.

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TAGS: barangay Apas, Calvary Hills, Cebu City, cellsite, Sun Cellular
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