DOTC appeals SC TRO on transfer of LRT-MRT common station
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) has asked the Supreme Court to lift its temporary restraining order on the transfer of the proposed common station from SM City North EDSA to the Ayala Land-owned TriNoma mall.
DOTC spokesperson Michael Arthur C. Sagcal said they have submitted their comments on time, “justifying our actions and our counter-arguments to SM’s claims.”
“We have filed our comment on time through our legal counsel, the OSG (Office of the Solicitor General,” Sagcal told Rappler on Friday, August 15.
On July 30, the Supreme Court issued a TRO on the planned transfer of the proposed P1.4 billion ($32.11 million*) common station from SM City North EDSA to the Ayala Land-owned TriNoma mall.
The respondents were given 10 days from notice to comment – and not to file a motion to dismiss.
The Supreme Court also directed SM Prime Holdings, Inc (SMPHI) to submit sufficient verification of the petition pursuant to Section 4, Rule 7, 1997 Rules of Civil Procedures and a proof of service of the petition on the adverse parties.
Meanwhile, SMPHI legal counsel Edgar Ryan San Juan said they have not yet "received copies of the respective comments of either entity."
The agency had appealed to SMPHI to withdraw the case it filed, saying it is delaying the award of the LRT 1 Cavite extension project to the Light Rail Manila Consortium of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation and Ayala Corporation.
On August 1, SMPHI said the High Court’s TRO reinforces the company’s position on the case, now pending before the Regional Trial Court of Pasay City.
SMPHI also claimed it had naming rights to the station after paying the government the sum of P200 million ($4.59 million). (READ: Why SM is after the MRT-LRT common station)
The Pasay court junked on June 23 SMPHI’s application for a TRO and preliminary injunction. SMPHI then elevated the case to the Supreme Court.
The DOTC, for its part, said the MOA had lapsed in 2011, as the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) had approved the construction of the common station at TriNoma.
On August 5, it was reported that DOTC is looking at putting up a “mini” common station for the LRT and MRT in front of the SM City North EDSA mall to appease SMPHI of retail and banking magnate Henry Sy.
SMPHI expressed that it is lukewarm to the “mini” common station proposal and said that they have not received any specific proposal from the DOTC and cannot comment on that matter. The Japan International Cooperation Agency is already conducting a study to make sure that the traffic of the 3 mass transit systems would not be affected by the mini station.
Meanwhile, infrastructure giant Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) – the biggest shareholder of Light Rail Manila Consortium – is set to finalize the design of the proposed P1.4-billion common station of the LRT and MRT.
The common station is part of the P65-billion ($1.49-billion) LRT 1 Cavite Extension project set to be awarded to Light Rail Manila. It will connect LRT 1 from Baclaran to Monumento; MRT 3 from North Avenue in Quezon City to Taft Avenue in Pasay City; and the proposed MRT 7 of conglomerate San Miguel Corporation.
MRT 7 will run from Caloocan City and pass through Lagro and Fairview, Novaliches, Batasan, Diliman, Philcoa, before ending at EDSA. – with a report from Mick Basa / Rappler.com