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Quinta market demolition set

Vendors fail to get TRO, but Erap assures them space after renovation
By: - Reporter / @jovicyeeINQ
/ 05:53 AM July 25, 2015

MANILA’S Quinta Market—which the city government has marked for “modernization” under an agreement with the private sector—is set to be demolished on Monday after a group of vendors failed to secure a temporary restraining order (TRO) from a local court Friday afternoon.

Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 7 denied the petition for a TRO that was filed on July 22 by the Quiapo Public Market Development Cooperative. Acting Presiding Judge Acerey Pacheco said the petitioners “failed to show any superior right than that of the city.”

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Pacheco also ruled that Quinta Market “is undoubtedly a patrimonial property of the city.”

“As an attribute of ownership, the city has the right to cause the repair or develop the same, subject only to certain rights of persons who may be prejudiced by the exercise of such right,” the decision read.

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It added that the business permit given to the cooperative’s members is “a mere privilege revocable at the instance of [the] city.” The court also dismissed as “speculative” the group’s claim that the demolition will result in their displacement.

“It bears stress that as per manifestation of the petition, the demolition shall take place from July 21 to 25, 2015. Since July 21 to 24 has already lapsed without any demolition taking place, the court finds the allegation without factual basis,” the court said. “The petitioner merely relied on the information given by unidentified persons; that is all.”

The fate of Quinta and other local public markets was the subject of a protest rally held on Thursday by the Federation of Manila Market Vendors Associations, which is questioning City Hall’s joint venture agreements (JVAs) with private companies for the upgrade of these facilities. The vendors mainly feared that they would either be evicted or subjected to higher fees under such schemes.

In a press briefing shortly after the court issued its ruling, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada said the demolition of Quinta market would proceed this Monday.

Estrada said he would award next week over 270 “certificates of tenure” to the vendors who would be affected by the project. The awarding was supposed to be held early Friday afternoon, but Estrada said he decided to wait first for the court ruling on the TRO petition.

The certificate serves as City Hall’s guarantee that the vendors would have a place in the renovated market and that the city government would see to it that the new rental fees would be “acceptable, justifiable and not excessive,” he said.

The makeover of Quinta market—a landmark in Manila’s Quiapo district since the Spanish colonial times—is expected to take six months. The resulting three-story structure would have space for around 360 stalls, the mayor said.

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Pending its completion, the affected vendors would be allowed to set up shop in tents to be installed by the city government around the market, he added.

Public information chief Diego Cagahastian earlier said the city government had entered into a JVA with Marketlife Management and Leasing Corp., which will modernize Quinta and operate it for 25 years before returning the management of the facility to City Hall.

The cost of the renovation is around P90 million, according to city engineer Robert Bernardo.

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TAGS: Acting Presiding Judge Acerey Pacheco, demolition, Federation of Manila Market Vendors Association, Manila Regional Trial Court, Quiapo Public Market Development Cooperative, Quinta Market
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