MCWD to ask court to reconsider ruling on guv’s appointing power-A A +A
Thursday, December 23, 2010
THE Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) will file a motion for reconsideration on the decision of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) allowing Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia to appoint board members of the utility firm.
Lawyer Benjamin Militar, a board director and is himself handling the case, argued that the Provincial Water Utilities Act of 1973, which RTC Branch 18 Judge Gilbert Moises used as basis to rule against the appointment of Jose Mari Yu as MCWD director, has been amended by the 1987 Constitution.
Rep. Tomas R. Osmeña, the governor’s political enemy, appointed Yu when he was Cebu City mayor.
Garcia challenged the appointment, and the court decided in her favor.
Militar said their motion for reconsideration, which will be filed either on Dec. 28 or Dec. 29, will also argue that it is unfair to the Cebu City Government for the court to allow the Provincial Government to interfere with the affairs of MCWD, even though it has not contributed a single centavo to the utility firm’s organization, operation, supervision and maintenance.
Contrary to Garcia’s allegations, Militar said MCWD is serving water to 83 percent of the residents within its franchise area.
Militar said it is unfair for the court to allow Capitol to interfere with MCWD affairs just because the connection rate fell below 75 percent.
He explained that on record, 63 percent of MCWD’s water consumers are based in Cebu City, which is highly urbanized and is not under the jurisdiction of the Province of Cebu. He added that Cebu City water consumers cannot even vote for the governor during elections.
The Provincial Government might be allowed to interfere in water utilities in other areas, especially if it has contributed financial assistance.
But in the case of MCWD, Militar said Capitol has not even invested a single water pipe for the utilities firm.
Pending their motion for reconsideration, Militar believes there is a status quo in the appointment of Yu as MCWD director.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 24, 2010.