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RTC denies Comteq plea for TRO vs. SBMA
Nov 21, 2017

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — The Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Olongapo City has denied the application of a computer school in this Freeport to restrain the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority SBMA) from serving an eviction notice due to its failure to settle outstanding obligations amounting to P19.9 million.

In an order issued on Nov. 20, 2017, Judge Richard A. Paradeza of RTC Branch 72 refused to grant Comteq Computer and Business College, Inc. a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the SBMA in the absence of a reason for its issuance.

“One of the requisites for the issuance of a temporary restraining order is the presence of a substantial right that needs to be protected,” Paradeza said in his order.

However, “It is clear that (Comteq) has no clear existing and unmistakable right in esse that is entitled to legal protection, a violation of which would justify the issuance of the injunctive relief applied for,” Paradeza ruled.

The court in its order noted that Comteq filed an application for TRO to prevent the SBMA from taking over the classrooms and offices that the school occupied in Bldg. Q-8131 located at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. The school also sought “to prevent the harassment of students, teachers and staff by padlocking the classrooms, sequestering books and learning equipment, and preventing students and teachers from conducting their right to attend classes.”

However, Paradeza noted that on Nov. 14, 2017, the SBMA had already issued a notice giving Comteq until Nov. 19, 2017 to vacate the subject premises and to pay its outstanding obligation with the SBMA that amounted to P19,971,435.68.

He also noted that the SBMA has allowed Comteq to use the said facilities up to Oct. 31, 2017 for humanitarian reason, and that Comteq “had even wrote a letter dated April 27, 2017, asking SBMA that it be given up to the end of October to look for a new building to relocate to.”

Paradeza said that Comteq had essentially argued that pursuant to Batas Pambansa 232, or an Act for the Establishment and Maintenance of an Integrated System of Education, as well as Section 32 of the Manual for Regulations for Private higher Education, the termination of a school year shall be effected only at the end of an academic year.

But the judge also ruled that Comteq’s right to occupy the subject premises “had already expired on Oct. 31, 2017, pursuant to SBMA Board Resolution No. 17-05- 0167 dated May 10, 2017” and that a similar notice to vacate and demand to pay had been sent by the SBMA to Comteq on March 30, 2017.

“It would appear that ample time was already given to the plaintiff to vacate the subject premises,” Paradeza said.

“The fact that the eviction notice was given in the middle of academic year is not substantial enough to prove the plaintiff’s right in esse. Besides, plaintiff already agreed to vacate the subject property at the end of October 2017 per letter dated April 27, 2017,” the judge added.

“Therefore, at this stage of proceedings, it cannot be said that plaintiff Comteq Computer and Business College, Inc. has substantial right on the subject premises that needs to be protected,” hence the court’s refusal to grant a TRO, Paradeza added.

News 2017

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