BAGUIO CITY – The City Government demolished last week the old Favis Building located at a City-owned lot at the City Market Subd.
The move came on the heels of a Court of Appeals decision upholding the Regional Trial Court’s ruling denying the petition of the heirs of Antonio Favis for injunction and issuance of a temporary restraining order to stop the city from dismantling the structure.
The Favis heirs filed before the Supreme Court a petition for review on certiorari questioning the CA decision “for being based on erroneous application and interpretation of the law” which is now pending before the High Court.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan gave the go signal for the implementation of the demolition order which dates back to 2013 as there was no legal obstacle that would have barred such move.
The Favis’ new petition contained no prayer for any injunctive relief to prevent the implementation of the demolition order.
Court records said the structure was built in the 1960s. After it was razed by fire in 1976, it was restored without a building permit.
Antonio Favis was issued a building permit in 1979 but for the construction of a barangay center and store spaces him being a barangay councilman at that time.
The City Government issued a demolition order in 2013 to remove the dilapidated structure considered as a fire hazard prompting the petitioners to file a case against the city officials on June 14, 2013 for injunction with prayer for issuance of a temporary restraining order and writ of injunction.
The said case was dismissed by the Regional Trial Court which also annulled the 2007 contract of lease executed by then Mayor Peter Rey Bautista.
The CA upheld the RTC ruling and dismissed the petition for lack of basis on account of a procedural lapse committed by the petitioners in the filing of the appeal which proved fatal to the case.
The court also said the petitioners failed to show that his right over the property is “clear and unmistakable” and thus cannot be entitled to the writ of injunction.
According to the court, the petitioners admitted that the 2007 lease contract with the city government on which they base their claim over the property had been entered into by former mayor Bautista without prior authorization of the city council.
“Clearly, when the local chief executive enters into contracts, the law speaks of prior authorization or authority from the Sangguniang Panlungsod. A contract entered into by a local chief executive without such prior authorization is deemed unenforceable under Article 1403 of the Civil Code..,” the court said.
The City Legal Office under lawyer Melchor Carlos Rabanes handled the case for the City with lawyer Isagani Liporada as attorney-on-case.
By: Aileen P. Refuerzo