RTC Junks Jadewell Motion for Execution
May 23, 2015
BAGUIO CITY – The Regional Trial Court quashed the motion for execution of Jadewell Parking Systems Corporation (Jadewell) for the court to direct the City Government to issue a business permit and allow its operation of the payparking business in areas identified in the memorandum of agreement dated June 26, 2000 for its unexpired term.
In a six-page decision issued last April 6, RTC Branch 60 Judge Edilberto Claravall said Jadewell’s purpose does not conform to the decision of the Supreme Court which “relevantly discussed (that) the MOA can no longer be implemented.”
“It must be reiterated that the execution must conform to the dispositive portion of the decision. What is being prayed for by Jadewell, for the issuance of a writ of execution directing the respondent city of Baguio to issue the requisite business permit to Jadewell upon payment of the fees required and thereafter allo the management and operation of the pay-parking system of the road and parking spaces identified in the MOA… for its unexpired term, is different from what was adjudicated in the Decision being invoked. The MOA can no longer be implemented. The high court relevantly discussed this matter in its Decision..,” Claravall said.
The court further said that there was no conflict between the body and dispositive portion of the decision of the Supreme Court dated April 23, 2014 which affirmed the Court of Appeals ruling dated July 7, 2003 invalidating the city council’s rescission of the MOA that authorized Jadewell’s operation in the city in 2001 but did not award any damage in favor of the parking firm, among others. The SC declared such decision final on July 21, 2014.
Claravall said, “Even though the statement of the Supreme Court in declaring the MOA as legally terminated is contained in the body, it doesn’t mean that the same does not bear any legal weight and significance. As a matter of fact, the said portion of the body serves as an important guide in interpreting the dispositive portion of the Decision.”
He added that as gleaned from the decision, the Supreme Court would have declared the case moot and academic in view of the termination of the MOA as a result of the “second act of rescission” of the MOA by the city council on Sept. 22, 2006 “had it not been for the possible susceptibility of the City of Baguio and its officials to an action for damages on a finding of wrongful termination of the MOA” in the first act of rescission through Resolution No. 37 series of 2002 dated Feb, 19, 2002.
“The subject of the execution in relation to the (decision) should only be limited to declaring and affirming that the rescission done by the respondent Sanggunian through its enactment of Resolution No. 37-2002 is null and void. The court cannot grant the prayer of the Petitioner in ordering the respondent city in issuing business permit so that the former may continue what was adjudicated with finality by the highest court of the land,” Claravall said.
In the decision, the court also denied Jadewell’s motion to strike the joint rejoinder filed by the City saying it is “expressly allowed by the court” so that now it will remain part of the court records.
Acting city legal officer Melchor Carlos Rabanes said Jadewell may appeal the RTC ruling within 15 days from receipt of the copy of the decision otherwise, the order will become final.
Rabanes said the city will continue to manage the Ganza parking space previously operated by Jadewell as there was no prohibition from the Courts. The city took over the operation of the property last April 2.
In its July 21, 2014 decision declaring as final its ruling on the cases involving Jadewell, the Supreme Court denied with finality the motion for partial reconsideration filed by the parking firm over the high court’s April 23, 2014 decision dismissing its contempt charges against city officials.
“Acting on the motion of (Jadewell) as petitioner in G. R. No.s 163052, 164107, 165564, 172216, 173043 and 174879 for partial reconsideration of the decision dated April 23, 2014, and considering that the basic issues have already been passed upon and that there is no substantial argument to warrant a modification of this Court’s decision, the Court further resolves to deny reconsideration with finality,” the court’s first division ruled in a notice issued by division clerk of court Edgar Aricheta dated July 21, 2014. “No further pleadings or motions shall be entertained herein.”
While invalidating the city council’s first act of rescission in 2002, the April 23, 2014 decision of the high tribunal pointed out that there was not enough evidence on the extent of Jadewell’s violations of the contract to prove whether or not the unilateral rescission of the contract was in order.
While Jadewell prays for damages against the public respondent, and while ordinarily we could grant the same, the context of this case prevents us from giving any form of recompense to Jadewell even if the rescission of the MOA did not follow the required legal procedure. This is because it would be appalling to grant Jadewell any award of damages, considering (1) it installed only 14 out of the apparently 100 contemplated parking meters; (2) its employees, private citizens who did not possess any authority from the LTO (Land Transportation Office), were manually collecting parking fees from the public, and (3) it did not, apparently properly remit any significant amount of money to the City of Baguio,” the Court said.
”These three facts are uncontested, these omissions are offensive to the concept of public service that the residents of Baguio were promised through Jadewell. From its ambiguous responses.., it is clear that Jadewell does not appear to be an investor who has lost in its investments in the Baguio City project. Thus, we do not award any damages to Jadewell.”
Jadewell’s operations in the city were stopped in November, 2006 after the city council repealed Ordinance No. 003-2000 for the privatization and administration of on-street parking in the city and rescinded the MOA.
The city council first attempted to rescind the contract in 2002 resulting to Jadewell’s filing of the case against the city government questioning the validity of the rescission.
The Regional Trial Court on October 8, 2002 declared the city council’s move as unlawful and this was sustained by the Court of Appeals on July 7, 2003.
The main case spawned a bevy of cases, one of which resulted to the suspension of former mayor Yaranon in 2006./A Refuerzo