By Mortz C. Ortigoza
MALASIQUI – The mayor of this 73 villages’ municipality welcomes any moves of the owner of the besieged Magic Mall to donate the edifice to the local government here instead of being demolished.
“Maganda kung iyan ang mangyayari (It bodes us well incase that will happen)”.
Mayor Armando Domantay however said that the Supreme Court has yet to invalidate the existence of the mall decided in April 7 this year by the division of the high court as illegal.
The mall, owned by Magic Group of Companies, was built on the local government’s lot in early 2010s after the members of the Sanggunian Bayan (SB or town council) illegally approved it while Mayor Domantay signed it into law for MGC to lease.
These town residents Mario Armas and Osmundo Lambino questioned it in the early of 2010s at the Regional Trial Court in San Carlos City but it was rejected by its Judge Renato Pinlac. As a result, petitioners Armas and Lambino appealed the RTC decision to the Court of Appeals and the division of the Supreme Court and won there. The appellate courts favored their arguments that the lease agreement with MGC and the town here had been with manifest abused of authority and contract disadvantageous to the government.
Armas has asked last November the high court to issue an order directing and compelling Judge Pinlac to implement the Writ of Demolition after its motion in August this year went unheeded by the magistrate.
Pinlac, according to Armas, said that “Court of Appeals declared the municipal ordinance and resolution invalid so there is nothing clearer to execute”.
It was Pinlac who denied the petition of Armas and Lambino in early 2010s questioning the illegality of the lease agreement by this town with the MGC as it is bereft of the two-third votes of the members of the town council as mandated by law.
Armas argued in his Motion for Writ of Demolition with Pinlac by citing the Rules of Civil Procedures that if his appeal in the high court had been finally resolved; the execution by the RTC would follow after he submitted the true copies of the final judgment to the court and the adverse party.
The mayor said the proposal to donate to the local government here the sprawling building of the mall depends upon the decision of former Dagupan City Mayor Benjie S. Lim –the head of MGC.
He said he has to ask Lim for that proposal.
“Tingnan natin (we will see)”.
Mayor Domantay deplored that the demolition of the mall would result to the loss of 250 workers job. He said 75% to 80% of those personnel come from here.
“Ngayon iyang 250 may tatlong anak, 750 kaya parang gugutumin mo iyong 750 na taga Malasiqui”.
Armas said the best thing to save those jobs and for the legal thing for the Lim family is to donate the edifice to the town.
He said it would be far fetched for Lim to demolish the mall as it would cost him another one to two million pesos.Domantay said he honors any decision of the court on the fate of the MGC.