Judge denies UP Cebu’s request to stop residents from rebuilding

THE court denied the urgent prayer for a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction filed by the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu against homeowners in Sitio Avocado, Barangay Lahug, Cebu City.

UP Cebu filed a civil petition for forcible entry against the families after they rebuilt their houses after fire struck the area last December.

Although UP Cebu claims ownership of the lot, the City Government gave the families the go-signal to rebuild, saying fire should not be the reason to disallow them to return to their lives.

Municipal Trial Court in Cities Branch 4 Judge Jenelyn Forrosuelo said the “damage” that UP Cebu claimed is “unquantifiable,” considering the families rebuilt their houses using light materials.

No pressing necessity

“The provisional remedy of preliminary injunction may only be resorted to when there is a pressaing necessity to avoid injurious consequences which cannot be remedied under any standard of compensation,” Forrosuelo said.

She also denied both the motion to dismiss filed by the respondents’ camp and the motion to render judgment that UP Cebu filed.

In the judge’s joint order, she pointed out that the school cannot justify the issuance of an injunctive relief under extreme urgency because it fears that it won’t be able to remove the families once they’ve rebuilt their houses.

If the school intends to use the lot, Forrosuelo said, it should have asserted its ownership before the fire last Dec. 26.

After the fire, the City re-blocked the fire scene and distributed home lots to affected residents, who then immediately rebuilt their houses.

“Plaintiff is claiming ownership over the subject property but did not institute any actions to assert said claim prior to the fire that destroyed defendants houses,” a portion of the joint order reads.

UP Cebu wants to expand its high school department in the area.

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