City gov’t surrenders AVM permit to court

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Friday, August 29, 2014


THE City Government of Bacolod deposited the business permit of slaughterhouse operator AVM Bernardo Engineering to the court on Thursday upon the order of Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 54 presiding judge Eduardo Sayson.

This was confirmed by AVM Bernardo counsel Marvin Tañada in a media interview. His client is expected to claim the business permit today, Friday.

Tañada said AVM Bernardo needs the business permit to comply with the requirements of the National Meat Inspection Services for its accreditation as a “AA” standard slaughterhouse.

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The permit was surrendered by the city to the court after slaughterhouse manager Glorydee Cometa filed a mandamus case against the City of Bacolod and Mayor Monico Puentevella the other week for the release of the business permit.

Earlier this week, the court directed Puentevella to file his comment within 10 days.

Puentevella had earlier declared that AVM could no longer secure a business permit because the slaughterhouse operator violated the provisions of its contract with the City Government, an accusation the AVM Bernardo denied.

AVM said in its mandamus petition that it started processing its business permit for 2014 as early as January 2. Then on April 22, it submitted to the City Mayor's Office Permits and License Division its application for business permit along with the pertinent documents.

During follow-ups made with the Permits and License Division, they were told that it has not been signed by the mayor yet.

Then on June 20, AVM sent a letter to Puentevella, however, the request was not given due course. They sent another letter to Puentevella on July 9, requesting him to release the permit, but to no avail.

The slaughterhouse operator said it was constrained to institute the case to seek intervention of the court to compel Puentevella to perform his ministerial duties towards AVM.

The AVM sought “not less than P200,000 for moral damages, plus exemplary damages of P50,000 or in such amount which is left at the sound discretion of the court.”

It stated that “Puentevella’s acts have tremendously caused serious anxieties, wounded feelings some sleepless nights, fright, tensions, stress, nervousness, undue worries and the like for which respondents shall be condemned to pay AVM (such) amount.”

To effectively and adequately protect its interest, AVM Bernardo said it was constrained to hire the services of Tañada in the sum of P60,000 plus P3,000 per appearance in court.

City Legal Officer III Cesar Beloria had earlier recommended to the mayor to issue the permit, saying it should be approved and released as there is no cogent and lawful ground to hold or restrain the same.

However, the same is without prejudice to the remedy to be exercised by the City of Bacolod relative to the memorandum of agreement involving the subject AVM and the City of Bacolod which is totally a separate matter, Beloria added.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 29, 2014.

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