Property owners file petition vs Davao-Samal Bridge Project at Supreme Court

DPWH Photo
DPWH Photo

THE cases petitioned by the Rodriguez family challenging the Samal Island-Davao City Connector (SIDC) Bridge Project are awaiting a decision from the Supreme Court after these were dismissed by the Court of Appeals earlier this year.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Davao Region (DENR-Davao) Regional Director Bagani Evasco said during an ambush interview with the media on May 16 that the petition was filed before the Supreme Court in February this year.

Rodriguez, et. al. filed for Petition for Continuing Mandamus with a prayer for the issuance of a Temporary Environmental Protection Order (TEPO), Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), and Writ of Preliminary Injunction against the construction of the SIDC bridge.

“It was already filed previously at the Court of Appeals and it was dismissed due to fatality defective and without respect to the higher court because it was not on the process filed by Municipal Trial Court and Regional Trial Court,” Evasco said during his privilege speech before the Davao City Council on May 16.

SunStar Davao has reached out to the Lucas-Rodriguez family, the proprietors of popular Paradise Island Park and Beach Resort and Costa Marina Beach Resort in the Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos), but they have yet to release a statement on the matter.

The regional director also said that the DENR cannot give further details on the matter while the petition is ongoing with the SC.

In the meantime, the SIDC Bridge project is suspended following road-right-of-way issues but Dean Ortiz, spokesperson of the Department of Public Works and Highways in Davao Region (DPWH-Davao), said they are still on track with the target completion date on August 30, 2027.

“We can only cease our operations if and when the Court issues an order to do so... We have yet to receive a TRO from the SC, if there’s any,” Ortiz said.

Evasco added, “Ongoing ang MMT or the Multipartite Monitoring Team. But as of today, no movement yet until such time na naay finality gikan sa court (that the court issues a final decision).”

However, the contractors of the SIDC Bridge are expected to submit their Detailed Engineering Design (DED) plans for the foundation structures. Once approved, the DPWH may advise the contractor to commence with the construction works.

“We might be able to secure the approved plans for the foundation structures by June or July this year. The construction works will start in the onshore (inland) area Davao Side and in Samal Side areas,” Ortiz said.

In addition, Evasco said that for Davao City, there are no existing Foreshore Lease Agreements that will be affected should the construction push through as planned.

“In Barangay Hizon, wala’y nag (nobody) apply for Foreshore Lease Agreement (which would) utilize sa mag himo og pantalan, oil depot, or unsa pa na mga (ports, oil depots, and other) utilization within the Foreshore Lease Agreement but wala man ta lessee diri sa city (we do not have a lessee here in the city),” he said.

The Lucas-Rodriguez family have said previously that they do not oppose the SIDC project but they have long appealed for its realignment, citing that the construction could cause irreversible damage to the environment.

This was backed by the Save Samal Reefs Alliance, a network of groups calling for the protection of the century-old Paradise Reef that would be hit by the construction of the bridge.

The approved alignment of the bridge’s landing points is from Samal Circumferential Road in Barangay Limao, Igacos to Davao City between R. Castillo-Daang Maharlika junction.

Despite the current hurdles, a groundbreaking for the 3.89-kilometer SIDC Bridge project was actually conducted last October 27, 2022 in Davao City, led by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. ICM


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