State seeks TRO vs city over Compania Maritima
Mylen P. Manto (The Freeman) - September 10, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Through the Cebu Port Authority, the Republic of the Philippines is seeking for the issuance of a temporary restraining order against the city of Cebu over the possession of Compania Maritima.

Solicitor General Florin Hilbay asked Regional Trial Court Judge Soliver Peras to issue a TRO pending resolution of the merits of the case for injunction with quieting of title.

Hilbay, in a memorandum, said it is “unquestionable” that the state is the owner of the Compania Maritima premises, which form part of the property of public dominion pursuant to Article 420 of the Civil Code.

“The right of the plaintiff is clear and unmistakable. The CPA, as the entity bestowed by law with the management, administration and beneficial use of the said property, has the corresponding right to be maintained in peaceful possession thereof,” the memorandum read.

Aside from a TRO, the state is also seeking for the issuance of a writ of preliminary prohibitory and mandatory injunction against the city.

According to Hilbay, the Cebu City government has been occupying the premises of the contested property by converting it into a parking lot for the general public and its employees.

It has earlier filed a civil suit against the city government to enjoin it from interfering with their rights to secure, through the CPA, the property.

“Having been granted by law, administration and beneficial use of the entire Baseport of Cebu, the CPA has the right to be in peaceful possession of the Compania Maritima premises and the legal authority to make any improvements or construction on the premises without interference from local government units like Defendant City of Cebu,” the complaint read.

Under Republic Act 7621, otherwise known as the Charter of the Cebu Port Authority, the state said, it has power to operate and maintain port facilities in the Province of Cebu, including the City of Cebu and Compania Maritima.

It said that sometime in June 2012, Mayor Michael Rama ordered the demolition of the concrete perimeter fence surrounding the Compania Maritima building without their consent.

They later learned from a news report that the city had started claiming ownership of the building as evidence by an alleged tax declaration certification issued by the acting city assessor.

Hilbay said they were baffled why the city’s move claiming ownership of the property when it knows and even previously recognized CPA’s ownership over it.

Hilbay added they have evidence, like a letter dated October 28, 2012 when lawyer Evangeline Abatayo, the overall chairman of the Cebu City Sportsfest 2012-2013, requested the CPA to use temporarily the Compania Maritima premises for their activities.  (FREEMAN)

 

ACIRC BASEPORT OF CEBU CEBU CEBU CITY CEBU CITY SPORTSFEST CHARTER OF THE CEBU PORT AUTHORITY CITY CITY OF CEBU AND COMPANIA MARITIMA CIVIL CODE COMPANIA MARITIMA HILBAY
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