Junk BDO's petition: City asks court

THE Cebu City Government has asked Executive Judge Gilbert Moises to dismiss outright the mandamus petition filed by BDO Unibank Inc.

In its memorandum, the City Legal Office argued that BDO’s application for a writ of injunction ought to be dismissed for lack of legal right.

“Mandamus is incompetent to compel the exercise of a mayor’s discretionary duty to issue business permits. Hence, outright dismissal of the petition is warranted,” read the City’s memorandum signed by lawyers Joseph Bernaldez, Bernard Inocentes Garcia and Jeff Mikol Opay.

During the case hearing last Feb. 27, Judge Moises ruled to maintain the status quo against the closure of 27 Banco de Oro (BDO) branches in Cebu City until March 28.

Both parties were also given five days to submit their memoranda along with the judicial affidavits. Hearing of the case was set on March 21 in case the parties would not reach any settlement.

Moises, of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 18, issued the status quo order preventing the City from closing 27 of 28 BDO branches in the city last month.

Moises is handling BDO’s application for issuance of the preliminary injunction against Mayor Tomas Osmeña and City Treasurer Tessie Camarillo. Last Feb.13, BDO Unibank Inc. filed the mandamus petition against the respondents before the RTC.

In the petition, BDO said City Hall refused to accept payments for 2017 local taxes and fees of its 27 branches, including the one on Magallanes St.

BDO said the City’s inaction of the banks’ payment is “without just and valid cause” and meant to “proceed with his unlawful design to ultimately close all branches of BDO in Cebu City.”

Citing the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007, BDO argued that the mayor “has a positive legal duty to fairly, without bias and partiality, and timely resolve BDO’s business permit applications for 2017.”

Osmeña filed a criminal complaint before the Office of the Cebu City Prosecutor against the BDO executives and Board of Directors last Dec. 4.

He accused the bank officials of violating the City Tax Ordinance by under-declaring and falsifying the bank’s declaration of gross sales of only P400, 000 for 2016.
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