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Cebu News

Lawyer wants case vs city back to former judge

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The former prosecutor who petitioned the court to stop government from using the P8.5 billion sale from lots at the South Road Properties (SRP) is now asking why the case he filed against the Cebu City government are being heard before the sala of Regional Trial Court Judge Alexander Acosta.

 Romulo Torres, through counsel Janice Lape, wants his case returned to the first judge who handled it, RTC Branch 23 Judge Generosa Labra, after Acosta denied his application for temporary restraining order last week.

 At the outset of the hearing before Branch 9 last October 14, Torres cautioned the court of the complication when he filed his Motion to Cancel Hearing, which the court denied summarily on the basis of urgency of hearing the TRO application, premised on Torres’ Urgent Motion to Set case for hearing on the application of a TRO and respondents’ Ex-parte Urgent Motion for Special Raffle.

Torres stood firm on his legal standing to file the petition and submitted his position paper by way of opposition to the motion to dismiss filed by lawyers of the city government. “Petitioner stands as a representative of the multitude of citizens and taxpayers,” Torres said.

 Torres cited the case of Chavez versus Public Estates Authority, 433 Phil, 2002, wherein a special action, a single concerned citizen brought suit to force the PEA to disclose information to the public relating to the sale of government lands worth billions of pesos and to restrain the government from selling lands of public domain to private corporations, the government questioned his standing because he had not shown that he would suffer injury by reason of the sale.

 The Supreme Court, in ruling for the complainant, said that because the petition involve the enforcement of the constitutional right to information and to the equitable distribution of natural resources which are matters of transcendental importance to the people, petitioner had locus standi (legal standing).   

 Torres said it is clear that in cases of this nature, the petitioner is only required to show direct injury to himself or to convince the court that the case involves transcendental importance to the public.

 “Needless to say, Philippine jurisprudence is replete with cases where even minors can sue for themselves and for the future generation,” he said.

 Torres also  submitted that the instant petition is the proper remedy to question the validity of the City Council Resolution authorizing Mayor Michael Rama to sell SRP lots. (FREEMAN)

 

CANCEL HEARING

CEBU CITY

CITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION

JANICE LAPE

JUDGE GENEROSA LABRA

MAYOR MICHAEL RAMA

NBSP

PUBLIC ESTATES AUTHORITY

REGIONAL TRIAL COURT JUDGE ALEXANDER ACOSTA

TORRES

URGENT MOTION

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