Judge tells coop: Vacate Capitol lot

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014


A JUDGE ordered a cooperative to vacate a Province-owned lot in Sitio Langub, Barangay Kalunasan, Cebu City.

Municipal Trial Court in Cities Branch 6 Judge Pameral Baring-Uy granted the civil suit filed by the Cebu Provincial Government, which seeks to recover Lot 1411 in Barangay Kalunasan, the same location where the Langub Kalunasan Cooperative building is located.

The coop is an association of residents from Sitio Langub, Kalunasan.

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“Conversely, one is in bad faith if he makes use of the land or property of another, which he knows belongs to another,” said Baring-Uy.

But Engr. Antonio Canoy, the cooperative’s president, sought to dismiss the petition, arguing that Regional Trial Court Judge Silvestre Maamo Jr. had issued a permanent
injunction in 2010, which prevented the Capitol from demolishing the structure.

A provincial lawyer and a coop representative met in a court mediation, where they were told to settle the matter since the case was initiated during the administration of then governor now Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia (Cebu, 3rd district).

In 2009, the cooperative filed a civil suit for injunction and asked for a temporary restraining order.

Named defendants in the suit were the Capitol, the Cebu Provincial Real Property Task Force and former provincial treasurer Roy Salubre.

The petition was a reaction to a demand from the Office of the Governor for the cooperative to voluntarily demolish its building.

The building is on a 30-square-meter lot owned by the Capitol.

The cooperative was formed to address the water problems in Sitio Langub. It has a permit from the National Water Resources Board to construct a deep well.

The deep well was dug in 2003, after an agreement that the Province will sell its 30-square-meter property to the cooperative.

In its complaint, the cooperative stated that there are two Provincial Board (PB) resolutions that would support this agreement, one passed during the term of then governor Pablo Garcia and another during Rep. Garcia's term.

Canoy claimed the provisions of the two resolutions were not implemented.

They were surprised when a demand for demolition was sent to them.

In March 2005, the PB amended the resolution, allowing Rep. Garcia to have authority over the lot.

The cooperative constructed its office building on the provincial lot in 2007.

But in July 2009, Canoy received a letter from Salubre, giving the cooperative 24 hours to demolish the building, prompting the cooperative to file the petition in court.

In his decision, Judge Maamo said that while the Provincial Government, as owner of the lot, can assert its right by demolishing the building as cited in Article 429 of the New Civil Code, it can only be exercised at a time of actual or threatened dispossession.

The defendants’ right of possession as owner of the lot has been lost, and they must resort to judicial processes for the recovery of the property, said Maamo.

Capitol later filed the civil case for recovery of possession against the cooperative.

This was the subject of the decision of Judge Baring-Uy, who ruled in favor of the Capitol.

Baring-Uy also ordered the cooperative to pay the Capitol P500 per month as “reasonable value” for the use of the property starting Oct. 14, 2010 until the property will be vacated.

The judge also ordered the cooperative to pay the province P5,000 in attorney’s fees.

The cooperative appealed Baring-Uy’s decision and is pending before the RTC Branch 5.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 03, 2014.

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