Cebu City mayor given 15 days to answer petition

A TRIAL court judge ordered Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña to answer within 15 days the civil petition filed against him by the management of Rico’s Lechon.

Judge James Stewart Himalaluan of the Regional Trial Court Branch 7 gave Osmeña and City Treasurer Tessie Camarillo 15 days to respond to the civil petition for mandamus with an urgent application for preliminary injunction/status quo order.

Himalaluan reminded the respondents to refrain from filing a motion to dismiss and instead use their grounds in their answer to the petition, pursuant to the the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and Office of the Court Administrator’s memorandum on policy guidelines.

“If you fail to answer within the time fixed, here plaintiff will take judgment by default and may be granted the relief applied for in the complaint,” read Himalaluan’s order. 3MRS Dionson Corp., the operator of Rico’s Lechon, filed the civil petition to compel Mayor Osmeña to issue them a business permit so they could re-open their two branches and a commissary.

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 operating without business permits.

The City Legal Office said that Rico’s Lechon violated Cebu City’s Revised Omnibus Tax Ordinance.

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, the mayor’s daughter-in-law, that they were ending their business partnership.

Bea had a 30-percent share in Rico’s Lechon’s Mabolo branch.

Dionson said the mayor refused to issue him business permits even after they complied with all the requirements for the business permit application. (GMD)
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