No takeover yet on
Media Relations Center
June 30, 2011
TACLOBAN CITY –
After a court decision came out confirming ownership of the Balyuan
Property to be that of the province of Leyte, Gov. Carlos Jericho
Petilla said the provincial government is not devising a plan ‘as of
yet’ to insist on its right and take over the property with the fiesta
festivities still ongoing and with the property being used as the
center for these activities.
“We know how to
respect other people’s activities especially that these are for the
people and is a religious practice,” Gov. Petilla said in a media
interview just as news broke out Tuesday that backhoe and trucks have
barricaded the gates of the Balyuan Property after a press conference
was held by Leyte board members and Pintados Foundation Inc. members
that such decision have already been made by the court.
However, the governor
said this would not prevent them from taking back the province’s
rightful ownership at the “right time”.
The governor declared
the province would not readily take over the property but is giving
city authorities the chance to peacefully turn over the property in
accordance with the rulings of the court.
“We are simply
administrators. Despite everything that happened I know that they
(city officials) are men of stature and still know how to respect the
law and the court,” Gov. Petilla said.
With reports that
heavy equipments have barricaded the property, the governor said that
still “nobody is above the law”.
He lamented that it
was only in 2004 that the city and the province united and in good
accord with then city Mayor Alfredo “Bejo” Romualdez that the province
readily agreed, with the approval of both the city’s and the
province’s respective councils, for the said property to be utilized
accordingly by the city government.
The governor further
commented all these can actually be “talked about “.
“Puede gad ini
pag-istoryahan kon maupay la it sarabot. We should not resort to
getting court orders as much as possible if maupay la iton uruistorya,”
the governor said.
The Regional Trial
Court Branch-8 of the Bulwagan ng Katarungan here dismissed the case
filed by the city government of Tacloban against the provincial
government of Leyte which called for the declaration of nullity of a
Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) entered into by the city and the
province and questions the ownership of the Balyuan Property.
The 16-page decision
issued on June 1, 2011 by RTC Branch 8 Judge Salvador Apurillo
dismissed the case filed by the city for “lack of merit.”