City to respect court ruling on Christmas bazaar

BAGUIO CITY – The City Government will respect the decision of a local court in issuing the writ of preliminary injunction preventing the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio (HRAB) and the local government from proceeding with the conduct of a month-long Christmas bazaar purposely to generate additional resources for use by the local organizers to defray expenses during the visit of some 24 contestants of the Miss Universe to the city early next year.

Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan said the conduct of future hearings by the court on the matter will surely help the judge understand the real purpose of conducting the bazaar that will serve as the city’s counterpart in hosting the visit of the Miss Universe contestants, saying the local government is open to arguing the matter before the court.

“We cannot do anything but to respect the decision of the court at this time. We will just have to strengthen and argue our position on the matter for the court to be enlightened on the matter,” Domogan stressed.

It can be recalled the HRAB wrote to the local chief executive to allow the organization to conduct the Christmas bazaar in the Melvin Jones grandstand to help generate funds for the visit of the beauty queens to the city on January 18, 2017.

The local legislative body then passed Resolution No. 294, series of 2016 authorizing the HRAB to conduct the month-long Christmas bazaar supposedly from December 1, 2016 to January 1, 2016 to help the organizers generate additional sources of revenue.

However, Judge Maria Ligaya V. Itliong-Rivera of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 5 issued a 7-day temporary restraining order (TRO) stopping the conduct of the bazaar before it subsequently issued the writ of preliminary injunction that permanently prevented the organizers from pursuing the project only after the petitioner posted a P2 million injunction bond.

Domogan pointed out there is a need for the concerned parties to respect the decision of the court because it is the essence of being in a democratic set up wherein the government is obliged to comply with the laws enacted for the purpose.

He ordered the City Legal Office to finalize the position of the local government on the matter which will be submitted to the court for the appreciation of the judge and for the court to be enlightened on the real purpose of the conduct of the Christmas bazaar.

Domogan expressed disappointment that the supposed mode by the local government to help the organizers generate additional funds will not push through, saying that the city cannot just come out with appropriations for the purpose because it will already be too late./By Dexter A. See


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