RTC junks mall’s plea re biz permits

THE Cebu Regional Trial Court has dismissed the petition of SM Prime Holdings Inc. (SMPHI) filed against the Cebu City Government over the renewal of business permits at the SM Seaside City Cebu.

RTC Branch 9 Judge Alexander Acosta granted the instant urgent motion to dismiss the case that SMPHI filed against the City, considered the instant petition dismissed, and cancelled the hearing for the application of injuction that had been set for Dec. 6.

SMPHI filed civil petition for mandamus and prohibition with preliminary injunction and status quo ante order to compel the City to renew their business permits and that of their tenants.

In the order, Acosta denied the petition for being moot and academic because there is no longer anything to compel, enjoin and restrain and prohibit as Mayor Tomas Osmeña already acted on their business permits.

In a letter dated Nov. 14, Osmeña informed SMPHI on the approval of the application for renewal of business permits for 2017 of their three businesses in SM Seaside City Cebu. However, the 16 others businesses of SMPHI inside the same mall were denied due to the failure to submit the 2016 business permits, which are indispensable requirements for the renewal.

City lawyer Carlo Vincent Gimena, who handles the case, said businesses not granted business permits this year can apply as new businesses next year.

On March 17, 2017 SM filed a petition for mandamus and prohibition when Cebu City failed to act on its applications for business permits for SM Seaside City.

In a press statement, SM said it “completed the permitting requirements in faithful compliance with all the applicable laws, as confirmed by the endorsement by the Cebu City Business Permit and Licensing Office. However, the mayor issued only three out of the 19 business permits. SM’s petition was dismissed for being a ‘fait accompli’ because the mayor has already denied the permit applications.” It will pursue other legal remedies to serve its customers and stakeholders better.

“SM has been and will continue to be a responsible partner in the development of the City of Cebu,” the statement read.

Osmeña has assured SMPHI that he will not close the 16 establishments. (RVC)
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