A GROUP of market lessees has filed a case against Mayor Mauricio Domogan.

The civil case stems from allegations of complainants lead by Josephine Bayabayan–Nuñez alleging the city as well as Domogan, has deprived them of process in the lease agreements over lots at Kayang Hilltop.

Nuñez, in her complaint, is asking for a writ of preliminary prohibitory injunction “enjoining the defendants from implementing the Mayor’s letter requiring the plaintiffs to immediately stop doing business on the premises and remove their buildings and improvements in three (3) months from receipt of the letter dated May 5 which is due to be carried out by August 25, 2017, the expiration of the three months period set by the letter.”

Nuñez is asking the city to accept the monthly rental payments of the plaintiffs under the terms of the last contract of lease and renew the business permits of the plaintiffs and their sub-lessees in their leased premises.

The complainant is also asking the courts to declare permanent injunction, ordering the city to execute renewal of Contract of Lease and declare all undue payments of rentals and real estate taxes reimbursable to the plaintiffs and to be applied to current rentals.

In a letter to Nuñez, the mayor wrote “in view of the foregoing, since there is no meeting of the minds between your clients and the City of Baguio for the renewal of their Contracts of Lease which had long time expired, much to our regret, we respectfully request your clients to immediately stop doing business on the premises and remove their buildings and improvements three months from the receipt of this letter so that the City Government can utilize the same for a better purpose.”

The move of Domogan has been described to be “unreasonable, unjust and illegal to the principle that ours is a government by the people and for the people who put the government officials into office to serve them and to oppress them.”

The city gave the group until the end of April 2017 and “after said period, we shall consider your failure to sign the contract a disagreement with its provisions. As such, we reiterate the stand of the City that you turn-over the lot and remove whatever your improvements there.”

Counsel to the Nuñez, Emiliano Gayo and Zosimo Abratique said the plaintiffs have invested substantial amounts in putting up theirs on the city lots which have been leased to them by the city and in maintaining their buildings”

The complaint also states, the buildings are occupied by businessmen who are paying the yearly business permit fees to the city to its great benefits and advantage and for the expenses of its officials and their offices.

“These buildings and their predecessors are builders in good faith when they were invited by the City Government of Baguio to lease the city lots and put up their buildings therein in order to help develop the areas of Kayang and Hilltop and the other city lots. When they constructed their buildings in the city lots there was no agreement that at the expiration of the lease contracts their buildings will automatically become the properties of the lessor, the defendant city.”

Counsel added the plaintiffs-lessees, would suffer grave and irreparable damages, should the defendants implement their illegal and unreasonable actions to cause the removal of plaintiff-lessees’ respective buildings because they do not agree to the “automatic transfer of ownership” provision being illegally imposed upon them by the defendants. (MEC)