BAGUIO CITY – The city’s Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 60 junked the motion filed by Jadewell Parking Systems Corporation for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction mandating the city government to issue the necessary business permit to the company for it to operate the controversial pay parking system in the city for the unexpired term of its 12-year contract for lack of merit.
In a 6-page order, Judge Edilberto T. Claravall pointed out the subject of the execution in relation to a decision of the Supreme Court (SC) should not be limited to declaring and affirming that the rescission done by the city council through its enactment of Resolution No. 037, series of 2002 is null and void and the court cannot grant the prayer of Jadewell in ordering the city government in issuing business permit so that it can continue what was agreed upon under the 2000 pay parking agreement.
The court ruled that the SC decision cannot be executed in the manner prayed for by Jadewell since the execution must conform to the dispositive portion of the SC ruling.
“What is being prayed for by Jadewell, for the issuance of a writ of execution directing the city government to issue the requisite business permit to the company upon payment of the fees required and thereafter allow the management and operation of the pay parking system of the roads and parking spaces identified in the agreement dated June 26, 2000 for its unexpired term, is different from what was adjudicated in the decision being invoked,” Claravall stated.
The court added the agreement can no longer be implemented since the High Court relevantly discussed the same in it decision.
The SC ruling states, “we note at the outset that on 22 November 2006, 60 days had lapsed from receipt of the letter dated 22 September 2006, informing Jadewell of the decision of the City of Baguio to rescind the MOA under Section 12 thereof. It may be recalled that Section 12 requires that notice of the intention to rescind be given 60 days prior to the effectivity of the rescission. Jadewell has not questioned the legal efficacy of this notice. It has brought this matter of a second rescission to the court’s attention only as a matter of contumacious behaviour on the part of the respondents in GR No. 174879, in the same way that it brought various actions of the public respondents before the court in its other contempt petitions. Since the legal efficacy of the rescission in 2006 has not been contested by Jadewell in any of the petitions before us, we thus consider this notice of rescission to have taken legal effect and therefore, at the latest, the MOA between the City of Baguio and Jadewell has ceased to legally exist as of 22 November 2006.”
The court asserted in as much as there is no longer any exiting MOA, no order of the court can have the effect of directing the City of Baguio to enforce any of the terms of the agreement.
“In whatever direction we rule on the question of the validity of the first act of rescission, such ruling will only have the effect of either providing Jadewell a basis to seek damages from the City of Baguio for the wrongful termination of the MOA, should we find wrongful termination to have taken place, or deny Jadewell that right. The possible susceptibility of the City of Baguio and its officials to an action for damages on a finding of wrongful termination is why we do not consider the case as having deemed rendered moot by the lawful rescission of the MOA on 22 November 2006. Thus, we will proceed to rule on the issues in the other cases,” the court stated.
On April 23, 2014, The SC rendered a decision on the consolidated contempt charges with the dispositive portion of the said decision state that there is not enough evidence on record to conclude that Jadewell’s violations were sufficient to justify the unilateral cancellation of the agreement.
Further, the High Court also dismissed the petition of Jadewell to cite several officials in contempt and to seek the disbarment of local officials who are lawyers and those who voted in favour of the unilateral rescission.
Ironically, the SC ruling was silent on the damages that should be paid to Jadewell by the city officials who voted for the unilateral rescission of the pay parking agreement.
By Dexter A. See