Court to city: Reply to mandamus


BACOLOD City — The city government here had been ordered by the court to comment on the petition for mandamus filed against it by the operator of the city slaughterhouse in Barangay Handumanan here.

In the petition, AVM Bernardo Engineering asked the Regional Trial Court (RTC) here to compel the city government to release its business permit.

RTC Branch 54 Judge Eduardo Sayson, in an order dated Aug. 22, 2014, said the court found the petition “sufficient in form and substance.”

The city government, through Mayor Monico Puentevella, must respond within 10 days from receipt of a copy of the petition, said Sayson.

Antonio Valeriano M. Bernardo, owner of AVM Bernardo Engineering, filed the petition on Aug. 12 through attorney-in-fact Glorydee Cometa, the company’s plant site manager.

AVM Bernardo Engineering said the city government failed to release its business permit despite its compliance with all requirements. It applied for the permit on Jan. 2.

Atty. Caesar Beloria of the City Legal Office (CLO) has recommended the permit’s approval and release, said the company.

CLO head Rayfrando Diaz said filing the petition was a “bad move” for AVM Bernardo Engineering.

Diaz said the city government was already planning to settle the matter with the city slaughterhouse operator.

However, “a petition had been filed,” he said. “We will wait for the summons, and then we will answer their allegations in court.”

Diaz revealed that he himself made a recommendation regarding AVM Bernardo Engineering’s business permit and was “supposed to give (it) to them,” until he learned about the petition.

Puentevella has stood pat against releasing the business permit of the abattoir operator, citing the latter’s violations of its contract with the city government. He earlier said the petition gave him “more reasons to terminate” their contract.

According to Diaz, the mayor can still terminate their memorandum of agreement even if the court grants AVM Bernardo Engineering’s request.

The company sought from the city hall P200,000 for moral damages, P50,000 for exemplary damages, P60,000 for its attorney’s fee, plus P3,000 for every court appearance of its lawyer, and P20,000 for litigation expenses.

Puentevella previously demanded the slaughterhouse operator to pay its arrears with the city government worth P1.3 million./PN