Cebu City can pay Rallos kin, bank says

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CEBU City has enough funds in one of its depository banks to pay the P133 million it owed to the heirs of Rev. Fr. Vicente Rallos.

“Per verification from the bank records, respondent City of Cebu has an account with the bank sufficient to cover the judgement of debt,” said lawyer Roel Costuna and Rydely Valmores of the Philippine Veterans Bank.

But it’s the city government that decides whether or not to use the funds to pay the Rallos.

“We were told that all city deposits are exclusively restricted for specific purpose for which they were appropriated or allocated,” the bank’s counsels said.

The bank’s manifestation was filed with the Regional Trial Court Branch 9 yesterday.

Philippine Veterans Bank said they “cannot dishonor legitimate disbursements, if any, against the account of the City of Cebu beyond the judgement debt.”

Last Sept. 28, Philippine Veterans Bank received from sheriff Antonio Bellones a Notice of Garnishment.

The notice mandated the banks “not to deliver, transfer, or dispense of the properties belonging to the City of Cebu to any person, entity, without an order from the court that issued the writ of execution.”

The notice was also sent to the Land Bank of the Philippines and Philippine Postal Bank  located along P. del Rosario Street; and Development Bank of the Philippines and Philippine Veterans Bank along Osmeña Boulevard in Cebu City.

Last Oct. 1, the amount owed by the city government to the Rallos family went up by about P133,469,962.55.

The principal amount is pegged at P44,213,000 but the city’s debt rose through the years due to interest.

In an order dated Sept 23, 2011, Judge James Stewart Ramon Himalaloan of the  Regional Trial Court Branch 9 ordered its sheriff to issue a writ of execution against the city government.

In case of the city’s failure to pay, the court will levy any of the city’s patrimonial, real or personal properties to facilitate payment of the debt.

Proceeds of the levied properties will be delivered to the Rallos family.

The court earlier ruled in favor of the Rallos family and ordered the city government to pay them P34.9 million for the properties it expropriated from them.

It also raised the value of the lands per square meter, raising the amount to P46.5 million.

The  city  government appealed the RTC decision with the Court of Appeals which upheld the decision of the lower court.

The Supreme Court also upheld the lower court’s decision. Reporter Ador Vincent Mayol

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