Injunction on Wright Park junked

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014


THE National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) recently denied the petition for preliminary injunction filed by an Ibaloi family against the construction of a government broadcast station at Wright Park.

In a resolution issued January 10, NCIP regional hearing officer Brain Masweng denied the petition for the issuance of a Writ of Preliminary Injunction filed by petitioners the heirs of Quintino and Josephine Abanag represented by Marion Pool and Isaias Abanag against the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) represented by regional director Edilberto Carabbacan.

The DPWH is implementing the construction of government broadcast station People’s Television Network (PTV-4) beside the property of the Philippine Information Agency at Wright Park.

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While acknowledging the right of ancestral land claimants by virtue of their native title issued by the commission, Masweng stated, “issues raised in the case are not without legal and historical dimensions.”

But the regional hearing officer in his decision said the public defendants, the DPWH and the government station, “also presented a land title to support their rightful claim over the disputed property.”

“There are, therefore, 'fait accompli' events that need to be carefully examined before the rights of the parties may be fully adjudicated. In other words, the facts and events argued by the parties are not fully independent from outside facts. To ignore such outside facts is pure ignorance,” the NCIP hearing officer stated.

The NCIP resolution added they cannot just brush aside the pending case before the Supreme Court (SC) for the nullification of the CALT issued at Wright Park.

Because of the pending case at the Supreme Court which might place both parties interests in jeopardy, the NCIP ruled a status quo should be observed.

Meantime, the NCIP ruled the defendants including the DPWH are granted the option to continue the construction of the building upon filing of an injunctive bond.

Ancestral land claimants are also given the option to file a counter-bond twice the value of the bond filed by the defendants should they desire for the stoppage of the construction of the building.

Richard Valdez of PTV-4 said they are set to meet with DPWH regional director Carabaccan to discuss the payment of the bond for the resumption of the construction of their building.

Meantime, Valdez in an e-mail forwarded to local reporters said the DPWH legal officer will file a motion for the filing of the injunctive bond. This can be in the form of a surety bond after a preliminary amount for the bond is determined by the NCIP.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 16.

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