After Supreme Court voided Magic
By Mortz C. Ortigoza
MALASIQUI – A member of the Sanggunian Bayan (town council) here lamented the backlash of the loss of jobs on the recent decision of the Supreme Court that the lease agreement entered by this town with a mall owner has been null and void.
|The beleaguered Magic Super Mart in Malasiqui.|
“I empathized with the workers of Magic (Group of Companies or MGC) who would be losing their jobs incase the mall would be asked to stop operating because of the Supreme Court decision,” stressed by Councilor Larry Laforteza during the medical –dental mission sponsored recently by this town and Abono Party-list at the Arenas Civic Center here.
He said since it was a court decision they as members of the council could not do anything but respect it.
Mayor Armando Domantay , as quoted in a media report, said that as many as 300 jobs and significant amount of revenue for this town are feared to be lost.
Councilor Laforteza felt elated when told that incase MGC enters into a memorandum of agreement to lease with its huge building that is now technically owned by the local government unit here.
“That would be good for the town’s coffer incase they (MGC) enters with this town into a contract with our town to continue their business”.
Civil Code of the Philippines says that builder in bad faith like Magic reaps the pain of being stripped off of its ownership.
The legal conflict here started late in year 2000 when petitioners Mario T. Armas and Osmundo Lambino who are residents here questioned the contract of leased entered by Domantay, as mayor, with MGC to lease a portion of the municipal land despite the absence of a two-third vote from the council as mandated by the local government code.
Because of the patent violation of the law they filed a petition for a provisional remedy of temporary restraining order and writ of preliminary injunction at the Regional Trial Court in San Carlos City.
Domantay said that MGC proceeded for the construction of its edifice when the petition for TRO and injunction by Armas and Lambino had been denied by the RTC.
But the RTC’s decision was reversed later by the Court of Appeals in July 7, 2013 and twice by the Third Division of the Supreme Court that found merits to the petition of the duo as taxpayers.
Dagupan City Vice Mayor Brian Lim, owner of MGC, said in a media interview that he was not privy about the first decision of the Third Decision of the Supreme Court in favor of the petitioners.
“What I know was Magic not a respondent in the case”.
The final decision of the high tribunal was approved by the justices in April 14 this year.