Cebu City Hall sued for wanting to demolish a woman’s house

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Saturday, December 28, 2013


A WOMAN from Cebu City has gone to court to stop the City Government from demolishing her house.

Myla Quintanilla filed the petition before the Regional Trial Court against Mayor Michael Rama and Raquel Bohol Arce, chief of the Prevention, Restoration, Order, Beautification and Enhancement team.

Quintanilla, through her lawyer Julius Ceasar Entise, asked the court to issue a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction.

In her petition, Quintanilla said that in 2006, former mayor Tomas Osmeña had also declared that the City Government owns the property where her house stands.

Church’s permission

Osmeña had threatened to evict her until the petitioner reportedly apprised Osmeña about the Supreme Court decision, stating the property is owned by the Catholic Church.

Quintanilla’s house is built on Lot 378, a 40-square-meter property adjacent to the Parian Fire Station. The land is owned by the Archdiocese of Cebu.

The petitioner admitted her house stands on church property, but she said she and the church signed a memorandum of agreement regarding her stay on the property.

Quintanilla said she was surprised to receive a final notice, dated March 21, from Mayor Rama, that gave her 10 days to vacate the property “or face demolition.”

The petitioner answered the mayor’s final notice with a letter informing the mayor about the SC ruling and her agreement with the archdiocese.

Quintanilla said Rama, however, insisted that “the land is ours” and reiterated his order for the petitioner to leave the property or face demolition after Christmas.

The petitioner said city officials continued their “high-handed and unlawful acts of intimidation and coercion,” adding that if she vacates her house this will cause her and her five sons “irreparable injury.”

She said “actual and imminent threat” is inevitable considering the City is bent on taking a “violent stand” to demolish their house.

She said her sons are also determined to “resist the unlawful invasion of their rights.”

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 28, 2013.

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