AFTER nearly two months, the culverts piled along a portion of J. Panis St. in Barangay Kasamabagan, Cebu City were finally removed yesterday following the implementation of a court-ordered clearing operation.
The management of a hotel in the area found this a positive development after losing several customers due to the road closure.
Chad Alba, operations head of Main Hotel Suites, said they are hopeful that with the obstruction gone, they will be able to recover their business loss.
“Ningreklamo ang mga guests, usahay mo-check out. Dako gyod ning loss sa operation namo. Daghan ming vacancy (Our guests are complaining. This is a big loss for us. We have a lot of vacancies),” he told reporters.
In an earlier report, an official of the hotel said that since they began operations, they could easily generate P2 million for January and February alone.
Main Hotel has a total of 45 rooms but the large culverts were keeping away their customers, the official had said.
Fearing that the road closure may hinder them from reaching the same sales target this year, the management filed an injunction case against Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, Inc. and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) last month.
The case was filed by spouses Ricardo and Emilie Alba, the hotel’s owners.
City Ordinance 1139, which was approved in 1983 during the administration of then mayor Florentino Solon, declared the area as a public road. It was named after Engr. Joaquin Panis, who once served as a city councilor.
Phoenix allegedly claimed the road as their property, but DPWH chief legal officer Atty. Brando Raya said the street is in the inventory of roads owned by the National Government.
Last March 12, Branch 17 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) issued a writ of preliminary injunction to Phoenix Petroleum.
The court also denied the motion for reconsideration with motion to dissolve the writ of execution and motion to hold in abeyance the execution of the injunctive writ filed by Phoenix for “lack of merit.”
A week later, Presiding Judge Anacleto Debalucos of RTC Branch 17 issued a court order directing the assigned sheriff to immediately enforce the writ of preliminary injunction.
Under the court order, Phoenix, through its counsel, had assured that it would voluntarily remove the obstructions by 12 noon of March 20 at the latest.
But this led to a short argument between the parties’ counsels. Atty. Inocencio dela Cerna, Phoenix’s legal counsel, their agreement was to open only a portion of the road. (RTF)