BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan underscored there is no legal impediment on any action that may be taken by the concerned departments of the local government to closure the controversial Camp 7 cement batching plant even without using the assailed anti-batching plant ordinance.
The local chief executive pointed out there are other laws such as the newly implemented Environment Code and other related pollution laws that could be used against the questionable operation of the Camp 7 batching plant even if the lawyers of the owner claim that there is still a case that is subject to litigation, citing the fact that there was no restraining order that was issued against the local government to prevent the concerned departments from pursuing actions against the plant.
While the batching plant owner appealed the ruling of the Court of Appeals (CA) that reversed an earlier ruling of a local court against the operation of the batching plant, City Legal Officer Melchor Carlos P. Rabanes explained the High Court did not issue a restraining order against the local government, thus, the concerned apartments can still pursue their mandated tasks of conducting an inspection to identify violations that could be used as a basis to close the operation of the batching plant even without using the provisions of the Anti-batching Plant Ordinance as a asis for recommending the plant’s eventual closure.
Earlier, the CA upheld the legality and constitutionality of Ordinance No. 043, series of 2017 or the city’s anti-batching plant ordinance that caused the dissolution of the writ of preliminary injunction issued by a local court restraining the local government from implementing the pertinent provisions of the local legislative measure that could have resulted in the eventual closure of the Camp 7 batching plant and ordered the local court to conduct the necessary hearings for the city to present the appropriate evidences showing that the operation of the batching plant within a residential area is hazardous to the state of the environment and health of the people because of the nuisance that it has created.
Domogan asserted from the start, the local government was willing to substantiate its position that the operation of the controversial batching plant was environmental critical and hazardous to the health of the people living within its vicinity but the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 5 which was under the late Judge Antonio Esteves issued a writ of preliminary injunction restraining the local government from implementing the said measure and subsequently declared the ordinance as unconstitutional.
He reiterated the standing order to the task force composed of representatives from the City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO), City Health Office and City Legal Office to continue gathering data to substantiate the standing closure order on the batching plant as a remedy to the plight of numerous affected residents who had been clamouring for the eventual closure of the batching plant.
Domogan admitted that he also received a letter from the affected residents threatening to file the appropriate charges against responsible city officials for their failure to implement the closure of the ordinance because it has been a nuisance in the area and that its operation is against existing environment and health laws.
He assured concerned offices should not be threatened by the harassment of the lawyers of the batching plant owner as long as they are doing their assigned duties and responsibilities.
By Dexter A. See