Court de­nies TRO plea of bar own­ers

Sun.Star Baguio - - TOP STORIES -

THE RE­GIONAL Trial Court Branch 6 of Baguio City de­nied for lack of ba­sis the bar own­ers’ plea for the is­suance of a tem­po­rary re­strain­ing or­der in its suit for dam­ages filed against the City Gov­ern­ment over its im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Or­di­nance No. 88 se­ries of 2009 or the Liquor Code.

“The Court deems it best and more pru­dent not to is­sue a (TRO) as there is no ground to do so and there is no grave or ir­repara­ble in­jury pos­ing as threat to the lives or prop­er­ties of the plain­tiffs,” Act­ing Pre­sid­ing Judge Ce­cilia Corazon Du­lay-Ar­chog said in a res­o­lu­tion dated March 2, 2018.

The Court then set the hear­ing on the ap­pli­ca­tion for pre­lim­i­nary in­junc­tion on March 19.

In the case filed last March 1 against the City Gov­ern­ment un­der Mayor Mauri­cio Do­mo­gan and the City Coun­cil un­der Vice Mayor Edi­son Bilog and City Po­lice Di­rec­tor Ramil Sac­ulles, the Cor­po­rate In­no­va­tors Baguio Inc. rep­re­sented by Al­lan Ban­doy sought the is­suance of a 72-hour TRO to stop the City Gov­ern­ment from im­ple­ment­ing the clo­sure or­ders against eight es­tab­lish­ments fac­ing clam­p­down for vi­o­la­tion of the Liquor Code.

They also sought pay­ment of dam­ages amount­ing to P110,000 for the fines paid de­spite lack of court pro­ceed­ings and P50,000 at­tor­ney’s fees and the is­suance of a writ of pre­li­mary in­junc­tion to re­strain the City Gov­ern­ment from im­ple­ment­ing the liquor or­di­nance and ul­ti­mately to de­clare sec­tions 9 and 10 of the or­di­nance (which set the clos­ing time for night es­tab­lish­ments with and with­out danc­ing) “void.”

In their com­plaint, the own­ers of the bars, cafes and restau­rants, mu­sic lounges, folk houses, videoke bars and clubs claimed they had suf­fered “dras­tic de­cline in sales” and “ha­rass­ment by po­lice of­fi­cers” in the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the of the Liquor Or­di­nance from March 2017.

They also claimed that “fines were meted out with­out due process of law.”

They claimed this op­er­a­tion of the po­lice con­tin­ued even with the ap­proval last De­cem­ber of City Coun­cil Res­o­lu­tion No. 433 se­ries of 2017 which asks the city po­lice and the bar own­ers to al­low cus­tomers to con­sume their or­ders in re­la­tion of the op­er­at­ing hours of es­tab­lish­ments.

They also claimed that sec­tion 9 of the or­di­nance is not fairly im­ple­mented as there were those al­lowed to op­er­ate beyond the clos­ing time and there­fore vi­o­lates that “equal pro­tec­tion clause” of the Con­sti­tu­tion and also “cur­tails the lib­erty of the pa­trons who are vis­it­ing these af­fected


Sec­tion 10, they claimed, should also be de­clared as un­con­sti­tu­tional as it “vaguely placed the ap­pli­ca­tion of penal­ties un­der the power of the ex­ec­u­tive through the po­lice of­fi­cers in com­plete dis­re­gard of the Doc­trine of Sep­a­ra­tion of Pow­ers.” In its po­si­tion pa­per, the City Gov­ern­ment through lawyer Marie May Buliyat of the City Le­gal Of­fice said that the claims of the plain­tiffs were with­out ba­sis and lacked a “cause of ac­tion” and asked for case’s dis­missal. Aileen Re­fuerzo

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