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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, March 8, 2013
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Raps for demolition
vs. mayor dismissed

BY CHRYSEE SAMILLANO

The Regional Trial Court dismissed for lack of cause of action the civil case filed by Gilberto Lagaras, et al against the City of Bacolod represented by Mayor Evelio Leonardia, to prevent the city from demolishing their houses in Purok Magnolia, Brgy. 7, Bacolod City.

Lagaras, et al, filed a petition for injunction with prayer for temporary restraining order and writ of preliminary prohibitory injunction against Bacolod City represented by Leonardia and all officials, employees and persons acting for and in his behalf ,on July, 22, 2012, after a demolition order was issued against them on May 23.

Out of the 26 illegal occupants at 15th Street, Purok Magnolia, only nine had filed the case, and the other 17 intend to process their applications with the Urban Poor Purok Magnolia Chapter, Inc. socialized housing or with the Bacolod Housing Authority for their accommodation at the Arao relocation site in Vista Alegre.

RTC Judge Manuel Cardinal Jr., in his order dated February 15, said that after a thorough evaluation of the merits of the application for a writ of preliminary prohibitory injunction, without prejudging the merits of the main case, it appears that there is no valid cause which entitles the petitioners to a writ of preliminary prohibitory injunctive relief.

Cardinal said the petitioners have no existing legal right which is now under threat of the order of demolition of the city since they have no certificate of title to show ownership of the lot where their house are situated and they have no approved lot plan to support their claim.

He said there is no urgent and paramount necessity for the writ to prevent serious damage to their property for they failed to show their unmistakable right to the lot in question. In fact they were provided by the city a relocation site, he added.

Cardinal said that with the denial of the preliminary injunction based on the findings in the order dated August 17, 2012, it follows that the main case for injunction must likewise fall, for failure of the petitioners to establish that their claim for relief exists.

In this case, the City of Bacolod has shown with clear and sufficient evidence that the road lot consisting of 5,146 square meters, where the houses of the petitioners are located, was purchased by the city on Oct. 16, 1998 from the Government Service Insurance System, he said.

Cardinal said that although the petitioners are in possession of the road lot in question (that is owned by the city), the road lot is separate and distinct from the 1.7 hectares granted to the Urban Poor of Purok Magnolia as shown in Resolution No. 495 of the GSIS.

He said the city further pointed out that the logbook of the BHA, shows that, out of the nine petitioners in this case, eight have already obtained application forms for relocation to its relocation site, except Lagaras.*CGS

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