CA stops LLDA takeover of garbage contractors’ Taguig facility
The Court of Appeals has ordered the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) to vacate a lakeside property along C6 Road in Taguig City and return it to solid waste contractor IPM Construction and Development Corporation (IPM).
In a six-page resolution dated August 29, 2018, penned by Associate Justice Priscilla Baltazar-Padilla of the CA’s Special 14thDivision, the appellate court also barred LLDA General Manager Jaime Medina and other officers, agents and staff “from interfering, dispossessing and intruding” with IPM’s right over the property until the case is resolved.
The case stemmed from a petition filed by IPM against LLDA after the latter closed down and seized control of the 22-hectare property along C6 Road in Barangay Calzada in Taguig City.
The LLDA claimed that IPM, the authorized garbage contractor of Taguig City, is engaged in garbage dumping and illegal reclamation of the shores of Laguna de Bay. IPM, which used the property for its garbage transfer station and materials recovery facility, denied the allegations.
In a statement, IPM welcomed the CA’s injunction order, insisting that it has not violated environmental laws and rules and regulations. It added that the operation of its Materials Recovery Facility and Transfer Station is covered by required permits and licenses.
“LLDA itself, in a Cease and Desist Order [CDO] issued on June 13, 2018, did not make any findings as to alleged dumping of garbage in the C6 area occupied by IPM. There is also no backfilling nor reclamation going on in IPM’s property,” the company emphasized.
IPM insisted that LLDA cannot use the CDO as a cover to land grab. “This is what LLDA did to IPM. Faced with an abusive show of force by LLDA when it took over, dispossessed and effectively deprived IPM of the pursuit of its lawful operations, the company simply availed of a remedy available to it under the law. Where else will IPM seek refuge against this act of LLDA except to resort to the courts?” it said.
IPM added that its CA petition puts the spotlight on whether LLDA has the power and authority to seize and take over IPM’s property. “IPM questioned LLDA’s jurisdiction because IPM’s leased property is titled under the Torrens System, which LLDA cannot collaterally attack by simply claiming that it is part of the shoreland and forcibly ousting IPM thereto,” it explained.
Following the court ruling, the IPM said LLDA – as a government agency – should be the first to show respect to the courts and faithfully comply with the CA’s lawful order. /ee
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