JUDGE Pepito Gellada of Regional Trial Court Branch 6 has denied issuance of a temporary restraining order filed by former city mayor lawyer Rolando Villamor.
"For the court is not convinced that there is an urgent and paramount necessity for the issuance of a TRO," said Gellada in a court statement docketed as civil case no. 09-13501.
Gellada said until the P250-million loan proceeds are released into the coffers of the government, the same remains to be the private funds of the Philippine Veterans Bank.
"Verily, Villamor's apprehension over the dissipation of public funds is premature and is at best speculative, conjectural and anticipatory," said Gellada.
Villamor filed last week for the issuance of a TRO or Writ of Preliminary Prohibitory Injunction enjoining the Mayor Evelio Leonardia, some city officials, and the PVB from enforcing the loan agreement and to cease and desist from continuing to apply for any loan with any banking institution.
Villamor believed that said loan which the City Government intends to purchase a lot as relocation site that will benefit some 2,000 families of the informal settlers in the city, "public funds may be wantonly wasted should the application for loan be enforced and the purchase of said relocation site may result in the dissipation of public funds causing irreparable injury to the people of Bacolod."
But Gellada said, not being privy to the contract between the government and the PVB, Villamor must show not only that the law or act is invalid, but also that he has sustained or is immediate, or imminent danger of sustaining some direct injury as a result of its enforcement and not merely that he suffers thereby in some definite way.
City Legal Officer (CLO) lawyer Joselito Bayatan lamented the claims of mayoralty candidate Vladimir Gonzalez that the lands situated at Barangay Vista Alegre in Bacolod City intended for the land acquisition of the City Government for the relocation site of the informal settlers are under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (Carp).
Bayatan said the alleged hype of Gonzalez is non-issue with regard the city's acquisition of the Arao property.
"The claims of Gozalez are wrong," said Bayatan.
He said Gonzalez failed or refused to know the facts that in 1977, the City Council passed Resolution No. 5792, approving in principle, the "Draft of the Comprehensive Town Plan for Bacolod City" as required by the National Coordinating Council.
Said comprehensive plan was approved by the then Ministry of Human Settlement Regulatory Commission or known as the Housing Land Use and Regulatory Board (HLURB) in September 24, 1980.
He added that in 1998, another City Ordinance No. 216 zonified these properties under residential zone.
"And eventually, City Ordinance No. 735 series of 2000, approved the city's 'comprehensive land use plan' which was duly submitted to and approved by the HLURB upon the issuance of HLURB Resolution No. 717 dated March 20, 2002 classifying these properties for future urban use" said Bayatan.
Bayatan stressed that the Carp issue raised by Gonzalez is very much incompatible, incomprehensible and absolutely inapplicable in the given situation.
"Carp issue is highly misplaced under the circumstances and obviously a non-issue and an utter deception. Perhaps, just for him to take political mileage on his mayoralty campaign."
Bayatan noted that future urban use means that while there are no residential occupants yet on the properties, then the urban use these properties is deferred. Though meanwhile these properties may be utilized for agriculture when its urban use is deferred, they are nonetheless already classified for urban use. (George M. de la Cruz and Merlinda A. Pedrosa)