CA or­ders ‘black­hole’ re-trial

Sun.Star Baguio - - FRONT PAGE - Lau­ren Alimondo

THE COURT of Ap­peals has or­dered the Re­gional Trial Court-Branch 63 of La Trinidad for a re-trial of the ques­tion­able black hole project which has now bal­looned to P58 mil­lion loaned by the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

The ap­pel­late court in a 45 de­ci­sion pro­mul­gated Oc­to­ber 18, has re­manded the re­gional trial court for a full blown trial on the case filed by the CBB Co­op­er­a­tion Foun­da­tion Inc. and Co­op­er­a­tive Bank of Benguet against La Trinidad for its fail­ure to pay the loan used to ac­quire the black hole project aimed to solve the gar

bage woes of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity un­der then mayor Greg Aba­los.

It can be re­called in 2011, Aba­los en­tered into an agree­ment and loaned P5 mil­lion on Septem­ber 30, 2011 at the CBB Foun­da­tion while the P18 mil­lion came from the coop bank in two tranches: P7,500,000 given June 15 and P10, 500,000 given May 23 for the down pay­ments of the Black Hole Project in Alno which was seen to solve the wors­en­ing prob­lem in the Val­ley.

The ma­chine is a world renowned Ja­panese in­vented mag­netic garbage de­com­poser us­ing low tem­per­a­ture plasma to de­com­pose garbage which em­ploys the use gases of two spe­cial mag­nets mak­ing the air nan­o­mized, gen­er­at­ing both plasma and heat, it nei­ther emits CO2 and toxic gases and can be used to process all sorts of toxic chem­i­cals or ra­dioac­tive waste.

The tech­nol­ogy also does re­quire seg­re­ga­tion and has passed the Ja­pan In­dus­trial Stan­dards Com­mit­tee, it is also be­lieved to help re­duce global warm­ing, the project was aimed to rev­o­lu­tion­ize waste dis­posal dubbed as the Zero Waste Man­age­ment Sys­tem (Su­per Black Hole Project).

The project was con­sid­ered as a dis­mal fail­ure and was to­tally aban­doned in 2013.

Two sep­a­rate com­plaints were filed against the mu­nic­i­pal­ity for spe­cific per­for­mance and dam­ages filed by CBB Co­op­er­a­tion Foun­da­tion Inc. and Co­op­er­a­tive Bank of Benguet urg­ing the mu­nic­i­pal­ity to pay its debt of P23 mil­lion which now grew to P58 mil­lion in­clud­ing in­ter­est which was ear­lier ruled by the lower courts to be right­fully shoul­dered by the town.

Un­der for­mer Mayor Edna Ta­banda who suc­ceeded Aba­los, the mu­nic­i­pal­ity has filed a mo­tion for re­con­sid­er­a­tion for the de­ci­sion of Re­gional Trial Court branch 63 for two civil cases for the sum of money and dam­ages filed by CBB against the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

The ap­peal was granted in part by the Sixth Di­vi­sion of Court of Ap­peals re­ceived last week, Novem­ber 6, by the mu­nic­i­pal­ity stat­ing : “While this Court com­mis­er­ates with ap­pellees per­tain­ing to the al­leged over­due loans they ex­tended to the Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of La Trinidad, Benguet, jus­tice dic­tates that the State and all par­ties con­cerned be given the chance to present their re­spec­tive po­si­tions. Speedy dis­po­si­tion of cases is ad­mirable, but the same should not come at the ex­pense of true jus­tice.”

Mu­nic­i­pal Ad­min­is­tra­tor Lawyer Miller Quintin said the re­cent de­ci­sion by COA an­chored its de­ci­sions by the de­fenses of the Sang­gu­ni­ang Bayan raised be­fore in the time of Aba­los and the mu­nic­i­pal­ity was never given a chance to present ev­i­dence in a trial be­cause there was no trial.

Mayor Romeo Salda said they will be wait­ing for the court to sum­mon the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

Salda said the ma­chine was never used when the mu­nic­i­pal­ity got hold of the equip­ment.

The mayor also ques­tioned the process on re­leas­ing the amount which tran­spired only be­tween CBB and the for­mer mayor.

“Why did the coop bank re­lease the money to the mayor. The mu­nic­i­pal­ity trea­surer should have re­ceived the money to is­sue the of­fi­cial re­ceipt of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity,” added Salda.

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