Cebu News

Telco’s legal move over cell tower baffles Apas

May B. Miasco/JMO - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Barangay Apas, Cebu City is questioning the motive behind the move of Globe Telecom in filing a case in court over the deactivation of its cell tower in the barangay considering the company’s earlier decision to “decommission” the tower.

“Naglibog bitaw mi kon unsa gyud ang baruganan sa Globe tungod kay nag-usab-usab man ilang decision,” said Apas Barangay Captain Ramin Ayuman.

Globe has asked the court to issue a 72-hour temporary restraining order against the city government’s decision to have the tower shut down.

Ayuman pointed out that it was during a meeting with Mayor Michael Rama and other stakeholders that Globe’s representative assured to decommission the cell site in Apas before December 2015.

The meeting was called after the City Council approved a resolution in May 2015 revoking the special use permit of Globe and Sun Cellular for their towers in Apas. The council ordered that the towers be shut down within two months.

Sun Cellular asked for a reconsideration, which the council denied, but Globe did not.

“Nisaad ang Globe last year. Wala pud gani sila ni-file og MR (motion for reconsideration). Pero wala mi nahibawo nga nangayo diay sila og extension sa (lease of) contract sa lot owner kon asa nagbarug karon ang cell tower,” Ayuman said.

On January 4, 2016, Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella ordered the city’s demolition team to shut the two towers down but this did not materialize because the city lacks technical expertise to carry the order out. The city has sought the help of the National Telecommunications Commission.

Ayuman said that in a meeting on February 12, for the second time, Globe committed to cooperate in deactivating its cell tower six days later but no one from the company’s representative showed up to assist in the procedure.

“Ang Sun (Cellular) consistent hinuon sa ilang desisyon pero ang Globe (Telecom), willing baya to sila mo-cooperate unta during sa ikaduha nga meeting namo with vice mayor (Edgardo Labella). Pero wala sila nitunga (on February 18) unya pagka-ugma, nalahi na ilang desisyon,” Ayuman said.

A hearing is set for Monday for Globe Telecom’s TRO petition.

Sought for comment, Labella said the injunctive relief granted by Globe was “quite delayed” already considering that the city locked down the barriers of the cell site in Sitio Calvary Hills this week.

Labella, however, said the city is willing to face the court proceedings to resolve the matter.

“Since they resorted to legal remedy then we let the matter be resolved by the court. The City Legal Office will be handling the case while I and the mayor (Michael Rama) also will have an active role on the matter,” he said.  (FREEMAN)


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