Court orders inspection of Balintawak Cloverleaf Market amid dispute over closure
MANILA — A Quezon City court initiated an ocular inspection of the Balintawak Cloverleaf Market after the city market administrator and building official testified on Wednesday that they did not personally inspect the privately owned market being ordered closed by the city government.
Former Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, counsel for petitioner Balintawak Cloverleaf Market Corp., raised the issue of Ayala’s P25-billion development in the area as possible motive for the “fast-tracked” closure order despite his client’s supposed compliance.
But Judge Marilou Runes-Tamang of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 98 said it would be unfair to speculate on the motive and the court would limit the issue on whether there was basis for the closure order.
The court earlier granted a status quo ante order on Cloverleaf’s petition, allowing its operation until a resolution on its application for temporary restraining order.
“In order to properly guide this court in resolving the pending incident,and for a judicious determination of the issues presented for resolution, the court deems it imperative under the obtaining circumstances to conduct an ocular inspection of the Balintawak Cloverleaf Market,” Tamang said in her order.
The inspection, where city building official Isagani Versoza Jr. and market administrator Noel Soliven or their representatives have been asked to join, will be held on Thursday (Feb. 4). SFM
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