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CA affirms ruling, allows DOTC to buy 48 brand-new MRT3 coaches.

The Court of Appeals (CA) has affirmed its 2014 decision that denied the petition filed by Metro Rail Transit Corp. (MRTC) and MRT Holdings II to stop the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) from acquiring 48 brand new light rail vehicles (LRVs) for MRT3.

In a resolution written by Associate Justice Maria Elisa Sempio Diy, the CA denied the motion filed by MRTC and MRT Holdings II to reconsider its July 31, 2014 ruling saying.

The CA said "...the arguments raised by petitioners in support of their motion for reconsideration are a mere rehash of the arguments in their allegations in support of their prayer for injunctive relief incorporated in the instant petition for review, which had already been thoroughly considered by this Court."

In its 2014 ruling that denied the issuance of an injunctive relief, the CA said that aside from the fact that courts are banned from issuing injunctive reliefs like a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the government's infrastructure projects, MRTC and MRT Holdings II failed to show that they would incur injury with the purchase of the LRVs from the Dalian Locomotive and Rolling Stock of China.

MRTC and the DOTC entered into a build-lease-transfer (BLT) agreement in 1997 to construct and maintain MRT-3.

In its petition with a plea for TRO, MRTC told the CA that the DOTC undertook the purchase through bidding for the supply of additional LRVs without its consent or waiver of its right of first refusal in line with its BLT agreement.

It pointed out that under the BLT agreement, its right to undertake the MRT-3 expansion is "clear and unmistakable."

It said the procurement of LRVs from another supplier violates the principle of having a single point of responsibility which underlays the construction, operation and maintenance of MRT-3, it added. It stressed that if the new LRVs are allowed to run without the necessary systems adjustment and upgrade, the riding public would be exposed to risks of train collisions and loss of lives.

But the CA denied its plea for TRO.

"In the case before us, there is no irreparable injury as understood by law. Petitioners' bare allegation that the loss of MRTC's right of first refusal, which carries with it the preferential right to supply the LRVs, would result in irreparable injury is not convincing," the CA said.

"Moreover, any damage that petitioners may suffer is indeed quantifiable and, if proven, is fully compensable as damages," it added.

'It is clear that the project concerning the procurement, supply, and delivery of LRVs partakes of a national government infrastructure projects geared towards the paramount objective of reducing the pitiful condition of our commuters. Thus, we find no compelling reasons for the issuance of the injunctive relief prayed for," the CA ruled.

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Title Annotation:National
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Date:May 14, 2015
Words:464
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