February 11, 2016
MANILA, Philippines – A Quezon City court has issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) to stop the city government from implementing its closure order issued to privately owned Balintawak Cloverleaf Market.
The TRO, which was issued by Judge Marilou Runes-Tamang of the QC Regional Trial Court Branch 98 in favor of petitioner Balintawak Cloverleaf Market Corporation (BCMC), is good for a period of 20 days, “pending the adjudication of the instant petition.”
In a two-page order dated February 10, Tamang cited the “possible repercussions on the buying public and the inevitable displacement of the market vendors should the closure order be immediately implemented” as among the reasons in granting the TRO.
The judge said she also considered the “evidence presented during the hearing on the TRO and the issues raised in the petition for prohibition.”
”Wherefore, premises considered, the respondents (Quezon City government) and all those acting for or in their behalf are hereby restrained from implementing the Closure Order dated January 29, 2016 of the Balintawak Cloverleaf Market for a period of twenty days from notice hereof,” the judge noted.
Former Albay representative Edcel Lagman, counsel of the market corporation, hailed the court’s temporary stoppage of the market’s closure.
“This is a significant victory of private enterprise and lowly market vendors against the precipitate closure order issued by a local government,” Lagman said.
The lawyer alleged that “the operation of the market has been uninterrupted since 1966 until a P25-billion mixed use land development known as the Ayala ‘Cloverleaf Project’ immediately at the back of the market was commenced, the expansion of which may be obstructed by the market site.”
The BCMC, through its president Rodolfo de Guzman Sr., earlier asked the court to issue a TRO and a preliminary injunction to restrain the city government from enforcing on them a cease and desist order.
In its order, the city government said the BCMC failed to comply with the necessary permits and requirements prescribed by the local and national governments.
The Balintawak Cloverleaf Market is among the three privately operated markets in Balintawak, Quezon City that have been ordered to stop operating for alleged violations of the city and national governments’ sanitation, environmental, building, and zoning codes.
The other two were MC Market and Riverview II Market.
Meanwhile, Tamang has set the hearing on the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction on February 17.