Areza-Cruz Realty and Development Company, Inc. (ACRDCI), the private company managing the city’s two public markets and slaughterhouse, said it will not abide by the city government’s order for them to return the facilities back to the city “without any court order.”
Teodoro Bundal, officer-in-charge of ACRDCI, said Thursday they are still legally contesting the decision of the Court of Appeals (CA), which earlier ruled their contract with the city government as invalid.
“Meron kaming motion for reconsideration at hindi naman kami papayag kung wala naman silang court order. Kung may dala silang court order ay wala kaming magagawa,” he said.
He is expecting that the city government will respect the motion that they filed before the appellate court. He added they may also elevate the matter to the Supreme Court, if necessary.
“Sa ngayong ay patuloy pa tayong nakikipag-ugnayan. Sabi nila na executory daw yung results ng CA. Yun sa interpretasyon nila. Hindi kami bababa kung walang court order, meron kaming MR. Dapat yun din ang hintayin nila,” he said.
Earlier this week, the City government issued the company an order giving them 10 days to vacate the subject premises, arguing that the CA ruling given in their favor was “final and executory.”
City legal officer Atty. Arnel Pedrosa said they will seek the assistance of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in compelling the Areza group to leave the market premises when their deadline is reached.
The City government under the administration of former mayor Edward Hagedorn entered into a management agreement with the Areza group in March 2013. The current administration had claimed the company had violated its lease contract, citing a Commission on Audit (COA) report, and sought to have it canceled by the courts.
Bundal claimed that following the release of the CA ruling early this month, some city hall officials have been encouraging vendors and stall owners to stop paying rent to the company.
“Apektado kami sa ginagawa nila kasi kinausap nila ang mga vendors na huwag na magbayad sa amin. Pero hindi naman lahat ng vendors. Yung iba nagbabayad naman,” he said.
The CA had ruled that ACRDCI committed a contractual breach through delayed payment of rental fees, non-compliance with the obligation to introduce improvements and rehabilitate/renovate the leased properties, failure to maintain the leased properties in a clean and orderly manner, and violation of the moratorium on increase in rental fees within two years from the signing of the contract.
The CA said the cancellation of the lease contract was justified by the COA findings and observations/recommendations and Areza group’s breach of contract.
COA also ruled that the selection of Areza-Cruz Realty violated Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Memorandum Circular No. 90-104 on the policies and guidelines for the privatization of basic services and the management of economic enterprises.
“A contract entered into against public policy is void and non-existent ab initio,” the CA decision stated.
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