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Cebu News

Labra urged: Keep case on SRP sale

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines –  The former prosecutor who petitioned the court to stop the Cebu City government from using the P8.5 billion sale of the South Road Property lots wants the case to be returned to the first judge handling the case.

Romulo Torres, through counsel Janice Lape, has asked Regional Trial Court Branch 23 Judge Generosa Labra to reconsider her voluntary inhibition from the civil case for injunction. 

 Labra’s court, however, did not accept the motion. Torres was advised to file it with Branch 9 under Judge Alexander Acosta who is now handling the case.

Torres sought to reconsider Labra’s voluntary inhibition after Acosta denied his application for temporary restraining order.

“That unfortunately, because of the undue haste attendant to the re-raffling of this case, where the parties were not given prior notice thereof, the anomalous situation exists where herein petitioner cannot be heard on his motion for reconsideration by the court that issued the order; where said court cannot act on the motion; and where this Honorable Court is without jurisdiction to rule the said motion,” Torres’ motion read.

 It further said the situation must be corrected so as not to deprive the petitioner the proper opportunity to be heard and for the previous court to dispose of its burden to rule on the motion.

 “At the outset of the hearing before Branch 9 last October 14, petitioner had cautioned the court of the complication when he filed his motion to cancel hearing which the court summarily denied on the basis of urgency of hearing the TRO application, premised upon the fact that petitioner had earlier filed an urgent motion to set case for hearing on the application of a TRO and respondents had filed an ex-parte urgent motion for special raffle,” Torres added.

“At this juncture, this matter has to be resolved, otherwise, all proceedings before this court will be improper and be of dubious legality,” the motion said.

 Torres, a resident of Barangay Basak San Nicolas, questioned a City Council resolution that authorized Mayor Michael Rama to sell the SRP lots. He contended that a mere resolution cannot amend the ordinance that specified the mode of disposal of the SRP lots.

Under the ordinance, the city government is mandated to dispose of the property only by means of unsolicited proposal. However, the city government recently sold portions of SRP in the amount of over P16 billion thru public bidding.

The winning bidders have already paid half of the sale price, which Torres sought to be protected. —/FPL (FREEMAN)

ACIRC

BARANGAY BASAK SAN NICOLAS

CEBU CITY

CITY COUNCIL

COURT

HONORABLE COURT

JANICE LAPE

JUDGE ALEXANDER ACOSTA

JUDGE GENEROSA LABRA

MAYOR MICHAEL RAMA

MOTION

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