Mayor hails denial of TRO vs P1.7-B loan

BACOLOD City – Mayor Evelio Leonardia welcomed the decision of the Regional Trial Court to deny the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against the P1.7-billion loan of the city government.

In a press statement emailed to the Daily Guardian, Leonardia said “In denying the temporary restraining order (TRO) filed by our political opponents, Jocelle Batapa-Sigue and Jude Thaddeus Sayson,  the Court states that ‘It is, however, of common knowledge that no LGU can survive the pressing challenges of time and can withstand economic downfalls without relying on any loan assistance from the government, or any banking institutions’.”

Further, the Court rules that the claim of complainants that the City may not be able to pay the loan is highly speculative and without any legal basis, Leonardia said.

He said that the Court clearly states that “the possibility of irreparable damage without proof of actual existing right is not a ground for the issuance of the TRO.”

In other words, complainants cannot show any proof that the loan obtainable by the City from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) will cause irreparable damage to the City Government or its constituents. Meaning, there is no waste of taxes, so to speak,” the mayor added.

He also said that in obtaining the loan, the City Government was cleared by the Department of Finance through the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) by issuing a certification dated January 28, 2019 that the City is in a sound financial position.

The City has a maximum borrowing capacity of P2.623 billion, whereas the loan with DBP was only for P1.7 billion, the mayor added.

City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan said the complainants are simply obstructionists and anti-development.

Bayatan said these two complainants, Jocelle Batapa-Sigue and Jude Thaddeus Sayson, are running for mayor and vice-mayor, respectively, and would probably not have filed the case if they were not running.

Bayatan added the complainants appeared to be anti-poor when they wanted to stop the development of the relocation site of the less privileged and homeless constituents of Bacolod City, especially those who are relocated at Progreso Village.

He said the complainants are also anti-education and anti-human development when they obviously wanted to stop the expansion of the Bacolod City College that needs additional classrooms and facilities because of the expected increase of its student population. By school year 2019 alone, there is the expected increase of enrollees of no less than 3,000 students.