Camarines Sur court ruling stalls Naga airport expansion project
MANILA, Philippines – The Camarines Sur Regional Trial Court (RTC) ordered the provincial government to stop its expropriation or acquisition of farmer-owned lands, which is being done to give way to airport expansion in the province.
The Naga Airport Development Project is part of President Rodrigo Duterte's Build, Build, Build program.
Judge Vivencio Gregorio Atutubo III, presiding judge of Camarines Sur RTC Branch 32, directed the provincial government headed by Governor Miguel Luis Villafuerte to stop implementing the writ of possession, which the court earlier issued against the farmers.
The court said the Camarines Sur provincial government is not the right party to pursue the acquisition of the lands.
It added that the Office of the Solicitor General has jurisdiction over the issue and not the provincial government.
"It has been ruled that the fact that the complaint was filed by one who is not a real party-in-interest renders the complaint susceptible to dismissal for lack of causes of action," the court said in a 5-page resolution.
"Although the court's attention has been called to the fact that lower courts are precluded from issuing injunctions against national government projects, it nevertheless appears that the plaintiff (Camarines Sur provincial government) is not the real party in interest in this case."
Earlier, the families of Rufina Bien, Salvacion Almazan, Getulio Montejo, Leopoldo Fideris, and Flor Purificacion Ramirez complained of harassment and coercion by the government for allegedly forcing them to sell or abandon their lands.
The provincial government, in turn, sued the farmers for resisting the expropriation of lands. – Rappler.com