Thursday, March 6, 2014

Domantay bows to SC decisions on Magic Mall

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

MALASIQUI – An ambivalent Mayor Armando Domantay could only quipped “that’s justice in the making” after the Supreme Court rejected his appeal and his fellow appellants on a civil case filed against them on a disputed municipal land here. It would be recalled that five years ago Mario Armas and Osmundo Lambino sued Domantay, former Dagupan City Mayor Benjie S. Lim, and some municipal officials here with provisional relief and writ of preliminary injunction. 
Magic Mall

The complaint against them stemmed when the members of the Sangguniang Bayan (town council) and Domantay passed and approved a resolution, respectively, despite the lack of quorum in empowering Domantay to sign a contract with Magic Group of Companies (MGC) to put a mall here. MGC is owned by the family of Lim. But several years ago the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in San Carlos City, Pangasinan rejected the petition of Armas and Lambino saying the contract between the local government unit here and MGC was above board. In July 7, 2013 the Court of Appeals, upon the emphatic arguments of Armas in a petition he personally wrote, reversed the decision of the RTC. In December 11, 2013 the SC denied the petition of MGC and the appellants by telling them that the petition failed to show any reversible error in the CA’s resolution as to “warrant the exercise of the court’s discretionary jurisdiction”
The high tribunal explained that Magic and appellants failed to (1) state the material dates of receipt of the assailed decision and filing of the motion for reconsideration in violation of Sections 4(b) and 5, Rule 45 in relation to Section 5(d), Rule 56; (2) accompany the petition with clearly legible duplicate originals, or certified true copies of the assailed decision and resolution, certified by the Clerk of Court of Appeals, in violation of Sections 4(d) and 5, Rule 45 in relation to Section 5(d), Rule 56; and (3) adduce proof of authority of petitioner Armando C. Domantay, Sr. to sign the verification of the petition and certification of non-forum shopping under Section 4 and 5, Rule 7 and for and on behalf of other petitioners. A source who asked anonymity said that incase the SC resolved the case with finality, Domantay and the town here will still be the winner as the MGC will be stripped off of its ownership as it was a builder in bad faith and the mall will become the property of the town here. Armas , a self styled legal advocate despite the absence of a BAR credential, considered the decision of the SC as a feat for him as he defeated in court battles luminaries like provincial legal officer  Geraldine Baniqued and Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan.

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