BAGUIO CITY – The City Legal office (CLO) disclosed it is handling a total of 498 cases for or against the local government filed in different venues as of the end of May this year.
City Legal Officer Melchor Carlos Rabanes said that 283 of the aforesaid cases are pending with the regional and municipal trial courts, 51 are with the Supreme Court (SC) and Court of Appeals (CA), 67 are lodged with the Office of the Ombudsman, 15 are before the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), and 82 are with other offices with quasi-judicial functions such as the Commission on Audit (COA), National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA), National Water Resources Board (NWRB), Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), Office of the President, (OP), Civil Service Commission (CSC), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), among other agencies.
However, he disclosed there 13 cases disposed and with the required entry of judgement issued by the courts where the said cases were filed.
For the first 5 months of the year, the city legal officer revealed 485 pending cases were being handled by the said office compared to the 484 cases pending with the different courts and quasi-judicial bodies as of the end of last year.
Additionally, Rabanes said there were 353 pleadings and communications filed by the city legal office with the RTC, MTCC, CA, SC, government agencies, and which were also routed to lawyers attending to the said cases.
The legal office was also drafted 57 resolutions on titled properties, barangay and city needs, road-right-of-way both private and public.
Further, 15 notices of demolition and 10 demolition orders were served to the parties concerned for appropriate action.
On the other hand, the city legal office reviewed 609 contracts and memorandums of agreement between the city and different parties wherein 481 were lease contracts in the city market, 114 infrastructure contracts and 14 agreements with transport groups.
Rabanes also reported that the legal office was also able to render 28 legal opinions while the outgoing communications in the said office totalled to 133 during the first 5 months of the year.
He explained in case parties involved will not settle their disputes after the issuance of the notice of demolition or the same is not questioned, the demolition order on the illegal structures will be issued to compel the voluntary removal of the illegal structures or the demolition of the same by the personnel of the city demolition team under the City Buildings and Architecture office (CBAO).
The city legal office also provides assistance to the city anti-squatting and illegal structures committee which is empowered to deliberate on complaints of squatting and presence of illegal structures.
By Dexter A. See