Rallos heirs ask CA to review ruling on P133-M award-A A +A
Thursday, July 12, 2012
THE heirs of the late Fr. Vicente Rallos asked the Court of Appeals (CA) to review its ruling stopping the release of the P133-million judgment award.
The petitioners, through their lawyer Fortunato Veloso, filed a motion to set aside the decision of the appellate court, which issued a writ of preliminary injunction last month preventing the garnishment of Cebu City government’s bank deposits as payment for the award.
Veloso said the CA erred in issuing the preliminary injunction and declaring that the City has a “clear and unmistakable right” being the beneficiary in a convenio or an agreement made in 1940.
“The resolution dated June 26 of the Court of Appeals is null and void and was issued without or in excess of jurisdiction and was issued with grave abuse of discretion…and must be set aside, vacated, nullified and reconsidered,” said Veloso.
The preliminary injunction, which the appellate court issued on June 26, stops the release of the P133-million award to the Rallos heirs.
The order also bars the sale through public auction of the City-owned 9.7-hectare lot at the South Road Properties (SRP), which is being eyed by lot successors to satisfy the award.
“There is an urgent and paramount necessity for the writ to prevent serious damage,” the four-page resolution Associate Justice Gabriel Ingles penned for the CA 18th Special Division read.
“It is best to preserve the status quo pending the final determination of this case, otherwise, whatever decision hereon will be rendered ineffectual and nugatory,” the appellate court said.
The injunction was issued after the City filed the petition for annulment of judgment with a prayer for a temporary restraining order in a bid to stop the release of a P133-million award to the Rallos heirs.
The Rallos heirs are demanding payment of P133 million from the City for using the family’s property as road right-of-way since 1963 in Barangay Sambag 2.
This developed after Judge James Stewart Ramon Himalaloan ordered the City to deliver to the Rallos heirs P133 million for using the family’s estate in September last year.
The City lawyers, in the petition, pointed out that payment to the heirs cannot push through unless there is a City Council resolution authorizing the release of funds to pay the claims, which should also be filed with and granted by the Commission on Audit.
In April, the appellate court also issued a TRO against the release of P133-million award to the lot successors.
In granting the preliminary injunction, the appellate court said the City Government has complied with the needed prerequisites.
The CA pointed out that the City established “clear and unmistakable right” being the beneficiary or recipient in a 1940 “convenio” or contract.
The contract stated that Lots 485-D and 485-E, which comprised of 4,654-square-meter, were “supposed to be donated and transferred” by the lot successors, the appellate court said.
The convenio also provided that “should petitioner (City) not accept the donation, the road lots would still be for public use.”
Since the issue involve public funds and property, the CA said the City justified the “urgency and necessity” of the issuance of preliminary injunction.
In the pleading, lawyer Veloso argued that the convenio was never formally offered in evidence by the City.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 12, 2012.