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Rodriguez mayor asks Sandigan to junk graft case against him

May 18, 2008 4:24pm

Tags: Rizal
MANILA, Philippines - Mayor Pedro Cuerpo of Rodriguez, Rizal have asked the Sandiganbayan Second Division to dismiss the criminal charge filed against him and his municipal engineer in connection with the alleged unlawful demolition of temporary shelters occupied by 93 families in Brgy. Burgos in October 2003.

Cuerpo, through legal counsel Eusebio M. Avila, said there is no basis in the accusations that he, along with municipal engineer Fernando Roño, defied a court order to act on the application of the complainant families for a building permit.

Cuerpo said the complainants misrepresented the case, noting that applications were duly received and processes but had to be rejected for the absence of the requisite “development permit.”

The defense explained that while the area occupied by the complainants was covered by valid land titles, the location was within an identified “danger zone” for being flood-prone since it is bordered by Maly Creek on the northeast, southeast, southwest and northwest sides.

“The significance of these technical descriptions will reveal the potential danger of the area. The precarious situation of the area is aggravated by the fact that …it is located at the lowest level of the hill,” Cuerpo and Roño pointed out.

The two said this was the reason why they had to deny the request for a building permit.

To support this, the two called attention to the fact that the complainants were furnished a copy of the list of requirements they have to comply with prior to the approval of their application.

While they acknowledged that the Rizal Regional Trial Court Branch 77 ordered the municipal government to process the application, they asserted that such directive did not mean automatic issuance of the building permit even without conformity with the building code.

“Giving the applicants the list of requirements for building permit already constituted the start of processing their application for building permit. Clearly, accused could not be charged of open refusal t execute the order of the court because, in truth and in fact they processed the applications; however, they had the legal justifications not to approve the same for non-compliance of requirements,” the defendants said. - GMANews.TV

Tags: Rizal