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TRO On New Tagbilaran Agora Denied
« on: September 19, 2009, 01:43:00 PM »
RTC Judge Patsita Sarmiento-Gamutan denied yesterday the application for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) for the City Square, formerly the Agora Public Market.

However, the court directs that all other substantial issues that were raised by the parties in the hearing should be fully ventilated during the trial proper. The pre-trial is set in Oct. 9, 2009.

In a six-page order, Judge Gamutan stated that the court "is in doubt with respect to the propriety of entertaining the application or request for a TRO at this point in time."

The resolution cited that while the case was filed on December 10, 2008, the summary hearing was conducted eight months and 25 days later which was on Sept. 4, 2009.

Gamutan said the records were received by the Branch Clerk of Court, Branch 49 which raffled the case on Dec. 11, 2008. The summary hearing should have been conducted within 24 hours after Dec. 11, 2008.         

It maybe recalled that the five RTC judges Fernando Fuentes III, Baudillo Dosdos, Suceso Arcamo, Achilles Melicor and Teofilo Baluma inhibited from handling the case which caused the regional court administrator to raffle it last month to Judge Gamutan.

Judge Gamutan said the "court considers it to be public knowledge that the construction of the City Square has been substantially completed, therefore, the issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order against the construction would be an exercise of futility.

Cited was the case of the United Coconut Planters Bank vs. United Alloy Philippine Corp. citing the case of Capitol Medical Center vs. Court of Appeals (G.R. No 142896, Sept. 12, 2007) the court ruled "The sole object of a preliminary injunction, whether prohibitory or mandatory is to preserve the status quo until the merits of the case can be heard.

Meanwhile, the complainants of the class suit, lawyers Victor de la Serna, Alexnader Lim and Zotico Ochavillo welcomed the movement of the case after the hearing for the petition for TRO was delayed for more than 8 months due to the inhibition of the five city judges.

The lawyers said that the defendants, Mayor Dan Lim, Juan Apostol and Ko Beng Sum actually evaded from answering the issue on the claim that the rehabilitate operate transfer (ROT) contract was grossly disadvantageous to the city government citing the disparity of rental rates.

The defendants were represented by Atty. Doni Piquero, Atty. J. Albert Tinampay and Atty. Amante. - Bohol Chronicle

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Where to Stay in Bohol? Book at Dao Diamond Hotel and Restaurant in Tagbilaran City. Online reservation at: https://www.daodiamond.com

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