CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines — With the decision of a local court to lift the writ of prohibitory injunction (WPI) granted to the owner of a resort hotel in Camiguin province, a local government official there said that there is no reason for the establishment to operate anymore.
Camiguin Gov. Jurdin Jesus Romualdo said the court ruling has affirmed his order to close Bahay Bakasyunan sa Camiguin (BBC) for alleged violations of national and local environment laws.
BBC is located in Barangay Balbagon, Mambajao town, and is considered as one of the most prestigious hotels in Camiguin.
In 2019, Romualdo, then Mambajao mayor, ordered the BBC closed, after the municipal government established that the hotel has violated sections of the Revised Ecological Solid Wastes Management Ordinance of Mambajao, Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, and Presidential Decree 856 or the country’s Sanitation Code.
In a previous interview, Romualdo said that based on the report submitted by the Mambajao municipal health office and the Environmental Management Bureau–Region 10, BBC violated environmental laws in its alleged “improper disposal of liquid waste” and because “the disposal of… biodegradable waste was scattered and dumped in an open space.”
The report was signed by Dr. Angeline Paulma, municipal health officer of Mambajao. The alleged violations prompted the municipal government to order BBC’s closure.
In response, BBC, through its owner Marie Suzette Good, filed a temporary restraining order (TRO) and eventually won a WPI.
Good accused Romualdo of acting without or in excess of his jurisdiction and of grave abuse of discretion when he ordered BBC’s closure. She also alleged that the company was denied due process because of Romualdo’s swift issuance of the closure order when he was still the mayor of Mambajao.
In his Jan. 17, 2020 order, Judge Bonifacio Macabaya of the Regional Trial Court Branch Branch 28 based in Mambajao said “BBC was not denied due process.”
Macabaya said BBC was sent a notice of violation, to which the hotel management responded in writing, adding that “BBC was, therefore, granted the right to be heard, and availed of that right.”
Macabaya also said that “the Court finds that the respondent acted within the scope of his authority granted by law as the Municipal Mayor of Mambajao when he issued the Closure Order.”
The magistrate added that Romualdo’s issuance of the closure order “was not attended by grave abuse of discretion; and that the BBC was not denied due process. The petition in this case is therefore without merit and must fall.”
In an interview on Wednesday (Jan. 22), Romualdo said BBC must be closed for good now that the court has upheld his closure order.
“They were given the chance to comply with the environmental laws and do something about the violations,” he said, but instead, the BBC management filed cases against him. (davaotoday.com)