SC asks lower court to resolve LTO-Stradcom dispute
MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court has passed on to the Quezon City regional trial court the task of settling the dispute over the government’s refusal to pay P1.2 billion to an IT firm for services rendered.
In a resolution, the high court ordered the QC Court to raffle off the case of Stradcom Corp. to any of its courts handling commercial law cases.
Stradcom, the Land Transportation Office’s exclusive IT systems provider, in its 56-page petition for certiorari asked the high court to compel LTO to pay the P1.2 billion, saying its continued refusal to settle its dues could eventually force the company to cease operations and consequently force the government agency to return to manual processing for its transactions.
The company said that only the high court had jurisdiction over contractors of a government agency under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) law.
Stradcom went to the high court after Judge Edgar Dalmacio Santos of the QC RTC upheld LTO chief Virginia Torres’ decision to withhold the agency’s payments to Stradcom, now totaling P1.2 billion.
The court also ordered the funds placed in an escrow account with the Land Bank of the Philippines, to be released when an intracorporate dispute at Stradcom was resolved.
In its recent ruling, the high court also held in abeyance the order of Judge Santos pending resolution of Stradcom’s internal conflict.
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