OVER MC ADORE, CALASIAO LAND SALE RESOLUTION
THE Dagupan city government led by mayor Benjamin Lim will have to put on hold its eager plan to sell the MC Adore property and lot in Barangay Talibaew, Calasiao.
A Special Civil Case has been filed by Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) Secretary Ryan Ravanzo before the Regional Trial Court in Dagupan City last August 17 questioning the validity of SP Resolution No. 6738-2012 passed in a special session called by Lim on April 20, 2012.
The case has been filed as Special Civil Case No. 2010-2010-D based on a petition for declaratory relief regarding the validity of the resolution passed by nine councilors authorizing Lim to initiate the sale of the city-owned MC Adore Internationale Palace and a lot in Talibaew, Calasiao, the proceeds of which is supposedly to be spent for priority development programs and projects.
Named respondents in the civil case are Lim, and Councilors Jesus Canto, Libra Fe Manoais-Reyna, Karlos Liberato Reyna, Marc Brian Lim, Redford Christian Erfe Mejia, Luis Samson Jr., Alvin Coquia, Guillermo Vallejos and John Chester Gonzales.
The special session was held while Vice Mayor Belen Fernandez, the presiding SP chair, was in the United States on official leave.
In his petition, Ravanzo through his lawyer Borromeo Bustamante alleged the resolution “is null and void for not having been passed in accordance with law, particularly the governing positions of the Local Government Code of 1991 (Republic Act 7160), citing the following:
- Mayor Lim or the resolution itself failed to identify the public interest that demanded/necessitated the holding of a special session barely three days before the next regular session.
- The lack of authority of the member designated to preside over the special session ;
- The failure to certify the subject resolution as ‘urgent’ based on the existing procedures; and
- The failure to observe the two-reading requirements for resolutions. “
Ravanzo also asserts that the resolution, as indicated in its title, authorizes the city mayor only to “initiate the sale” of the two properties and does not mean to conclude, execute and sign in behalf of the City of Dagupan the Deed of Sale or any other document involving the properties.
Ravanzo cited that this was also the legal opinion given by the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to whom the controversial resolution was referred.
The DILG legal opinion states in part: “Hence, be it an ordinary legislative measure certified as urgent by the local chief executive, the same must undergo the first and second readings”, adding “Since the subject Resolution did not go through the second reading, we are of the view that the same suffers from legal infirmity”.
The DILG also stated that if Lim wishes to exercise these acts (conclude, execute and sign in behalf of the City of Dagupan the Deed of Sale or any other documents involving the foresaid properties), he is required to “secure anew prior authorization from the SO for the said purposes/s”.
In his prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) and or preliminary injunction, Ravanzo asked the court to restrain the respondent and all those acting in their behalf from the implementation of the questioned resolution.
Lim has already issued Executive Order No. 56, Series of 2012 for the creation of a committee to appraise and determine the fair market value of the properties.
Ravanzo said that unless a TRO or a writ of preliminary injuction is granted, “a great and irreparable injury” would result to the plaintiff before the matter could be heard on notice.
He also sought that after due notice and hearing, judgment be rendered making the restraining order and or preliminary injunction permanent and to declare the resolution as null and void without any legal effect.