Stradcom fails to get Supreme Court relief
Stradcom Corp. has failed to get a reprieve from the Supreme Court in its bid to collect some P1.2 billion from the Land Transportation Office (LTO) after the magistrates failed to settle the petition filed by the information technology firm.
Midas Marquez, Supreme Court administrator and spokesperson, said a four-member division of the tribunal headed by Chief Justice Renato Corona voted 2-2 on Stradcom’s petition for certiorari seeking to void a ruling of Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 222 Judge Edgar Santos.
“The case will be included in the agenda of the court in its full-court session next week,” Marquez said.
In his order last month, Santos granted the interpleader suit filed by LTO chief Virginia Torres which allowed her to withhold the payment of P1.2 billion in contractual obligation to Stradcom, LTO’s lone IT provider.
Torres had suspended the settlement of fees that LTO owed Stradcom until the IT firm resolved the ownership dispute between Stradcom chair Cezar Quiambao and businessman Bonifacio Sumbilla.
Based on Santos’ order, the money had since been deposited in an escrow account with the Land Bank of the Philippines.
The controversial LTO chief also claimed that Stradcom had made excessive profits by collecting fees from motorists which were not covered by its original contract with the agency.
In its July 6 petition in the high court, Stradcom said Santos “arbitrarily brushed aside” its arguments “which would have warranted the dismissal of the simulated interpleader case” that Torres filed.
Stradcom said the lower court’s assailed order brought the IT firm “at the brink of shutting down.”
“Stradcom, which has not been paid since December 2010, needs its funds for its operating expenses and to honor its obligations to service repayments for project financing,” the IT firm said in its 56-page petition.
“The order deprives Stradcom of the necessary funds it needs to sustain its operations and to pay its obligations to service repayments for project financing.”
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