REGIONAL Trial Court (RTC) Branch 9 Judge Alexander Acosta will continue hearing the petition filed by a five-star hotel seeking to stop the Cebu City Government from selling the lot adjacent to the hotel’s premises.

Acosta denied the motion for reconsideration the City Hall filed that sought to dismiss the civil case for certiorari and prohibition filed by the Waterfront Cebu City Casino Hotel Inc.

“A careful scrutiny of the motion (for reconsideration)...disclosed that there is no basis, in fact or in law, that would warrant a re-examination, much less, the modification or reversal of the order, there being no new and substantial matter pleaded,” read Acosta’s two-page order.

City Legal Office Chief Jerone Castillo filed the motion asking Judge Acosta to reconsider his ruling dismissing the city lawyers’ manifestation to junk outright the petition.

The city lawyers argued that the Waterfront lawyers failed to exhaust legal remedies prior to the filing of the civil suit.

They also argued that the judge should have dismissed the petition for failure to acquire jurisdiction over the case.

Judge Acosta denied the City’s pleading, saying he has jurisdiction over the case and that the latter prematurely filed such motion.

City lawyers filed the motion for reconsideration, arguing that Judge Acosta has no jurisdiction over the case.

Granting the judge has jurisdiction over the case, the city lawyers insisted that such dominion is limited only to the act of the committee on awards.

In April, Judge Acosta also denied Waterfront’s application for a 20-day temporary restraining order (TRO).

Acosta refused to grant the TRO since he was not convinced that “there is an extreme urgency that grave injustice and irreparable injury will arise unless it is issued immediately.”

The case stemmed from the civil case for certiorari and prohibition that Waterfront filed to stop the City from selling the lot 917.

Although Hotel of Asia already made a 50-percent down payment of the purchase price, the council has yet to pass a resolution authorizing the mayor to sign the contract.

Named defendants in the suit are Rama, the committee on awards represented by Attorney V Jose Daluz III, the City Council through its presiding officer Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella and Hotel of Asia.

Hotel of Asia, in its winning bid, offered to buy the property for P83.7 million at P35,500 per sq. m. (GMD)