THE management of Rico’s Lechon has gone to court to compel Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña to issue the business permit so they could re-open their two branches and a commissary.
3MRS Dionson Corp., the operator of Rico’s Lechon, filed a civil petition for mandamus with an urgent application for a 72-hour temporary restraining order, and preliminary injunction/status quo order against Osmeña and City Treasurer Tessie Camarillo.
During the hearing yesterday, Judge James Stewart Himalaluan ruled to abort to tackle the petitoner’s application of 20-day TRO since two of Rico’s Lechon branches in Cebu City already ceased operations.
Ramon Ventura, counsel for the petitioner, manifested that they would file an amended petition and will instead seek for mandatory injunction.
Last Aug 2, Osmeña ordered the closure of two Rico’s Lechon branches on Escario St. in Barangay Capitol Site and on F. Cabahug St., Barangay Mabolo for lack of business permits.
The branch on F. Cabahug St. has not renewed its business permit for five years already, while the one on Escario St. did not secure a business permit from the City since the start of its operation last year.
Such act is a violation of the Cebu City’s Revised Omnibus Tax Ordinance, the City Legal Office said.
Enrico “Rico” Dionson, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Rico’s Lechon, suspected that City Hall closed their two branches after they told Bea Villegas-Osmeña that they were ending their business partnership.
Bea is the wife of Miguel Osmeña, the only child of Mayor Osmeña. She owned 30 percent of Rico’s Lechon-Mabolo branch.
In the petition, Dionson said that Bea approached him for a business venture in 2012.
Although hesitant, Dionson agreed to the venture and formed the Dionson and Villegas Inc. The five-year contract started from Aug. 1, 2012 to July 31, 2017.
Initially, Bea was the one in-charge of the entire operations of the restaurant, including securing of business permits and licenses.
Bea also hired a bookkeeper for the restaurant’s business permit and licenses.
When the management discovered some allegedly questionable acts of Bea, she surrendered the management to Melanie Grace Oyas, Dionson’s daughter and general manager of Rico’s Lechon restaurants.
When the use of trade name Rico’s Lechon ended on July 31, 2017, Dionson said he decided not to allow the use of his business name to his daughter’s venture with Bea.
But Bea reportedly wanted their venture to continue using the same trade name despite its expiration on July 31, 2017.
Last Aug. 3, the mayor ordered the closure of the two branches of Rico’s Lechon for lack of business permits.
“Mayor Osmeña has unlawfully refused to perform his positive legal duty in the ordinary course of business and gravely abused his public office,” read the petition prepared by Dionson’s legal counsel.
Dionson said the mayor refused to issue him business permits despite compliance with all the requirements for the business permit application.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on August 23, 2017.
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