BAGUIO CITY (October 24, 2006) — Now eyeing the heads of Baguio’s acting mayor, city legal officer, and city councilors, the private parking firm Jadewell Parking Systems Corporation is asking the Supreme Court to cite them for contempt.
Jadewell, the same private corporation that had flexed muscles leading to the suspension of Baguio City Mayor Braulio Yaranon and also endangering Mayor Enrico Echeveria of Caloocan City over the same pay parking business, wants the high tribunal to cite Acting Mayor Reinaldo Bautista Jr., City Legal Officer Melchor Rabanes and 10 of the 14-member city council for contempt due to their notice of rescission on the controversial 12-year pay parking contract here.
Jadewell, through Lawyer Emiliano Gayo, representing the private firm, is asking the SC to order the respondents to show why they should not be cited for contempt. After finding them guilty, mete them penalties after trying to junk the pay parking contract in the city that started in 2000. “The offense becomes more serious in this case because it was the city council of Baguio which filed the earlier petition before the court to determine whether the rescission of the city’s pay parking law or Ordinance 003-2000 was legal or not.”
The city council on second reading has voted to drop the contract and repeal the pay parking ordinance on September 13, 2006.
Bautista, while still vice-mayor, also signed the resolution to drop the contract and repeal the enabling ordinance.
City Legal Officer Rabanes sent a notice of rescission to Jadewell, upon the council’s order.
Jadewell also wants the lawyers among the 10 councilors who voted to drop the contract disbarred when found by the high tribunal guilty of contempt. Councilors Rocky Thomas Balisong, Edilberto Tenefrancia, Faustino Olowan, Federico Mandapat Jr., Perlita Chan-Rondez and Jose Molintas are all lawyers. Only Galo Weygan, Antonio Tabora Jr. and Rufino Panagan who voted for rescission are not.
Jadewell is bantering what these officials are doing while the Jadewell issue is still being decided in various courts.
Molintas, a veteran human rights lawyer however said they will not be cowed by the contempt charge. “We welcome the move and we are confident that the court will deny it,” he bravely said.
He added that they would file a counter motion and disbarment against Jadewell lawyers for allegedly misleading the court.
Balisong, also a veteran criminal lawyer, meanwhile, said he would answer only when he receives the complaint against them.
Molintas as head of the city council’s committee on human rights, public protection and safety, and peace and order, convened on Wednesday some complainants against Jadewell’s clamping and towing to hear and document the incidents. He said he hoped the committee could come up with appropriate recommendations for authorities to act on.
Jadewell President and Chief Executive Officer Rogelio Tan appeared before the city council and assured council members Friday that they will not clamp, tow and impound vehicles provided that an alternative in enforcing the Pay Parking Ordinance be adopted.
Tan insisted that the Pay Parking Ordinance clothed them an authority to immobilize vehicles as part of the enforcing mechanisms granted by the said ordinance.
Earlier, RP special envoy for transnational crime and Phil. Horse-racing Commission official Florencio Fianza, a retired general of the Phil. National Police, filed complaints of usurpation of authority, carnapping and other charges against Jadewell attendants when his vehicle was towed.
Fianza who hails from Baguio City alleged he was also manhandled by Jadewell attendants, but the charges were denied by the attendants who instead claimed they only defended themselves from his attacks. # Ace Alegre for NORDIS