CA to Muntinlupa court: Rule on color coding in Ayala Alabang Village

MANILA, Philippines – The Court of Appeals (CA) has directed the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Muntinlupa City to go to trial and resolve a petition that questions the legality of placing a color-coding scheme within Ayala Alabang Village.

The color-coding scheme was meant to regulate the entry of private non-resident vehicles within the subdivision since June 2014.

The 6-page decision penned by Associate Justice Normandie Pizarro of the CA's 13th Division junked a petition from the Ayala Alabang Village Association Inc (AAVAI).

The petition sought to nullify an order by Muntinlupa RTC Branch 207 Presiding Judge Philip Aguinaldo on August 14, 2015. The order had denied the motion to dismiss the complaint, and vacate the temporary restraining order it had issued,  enjoining the implementation of the scheme.

The AAVAI wants the complaint filed by students of De La Salle Zobel dismissed. According to the AAVAI, the issue has already become moot as the stickers issued have expired and an agreement is already in place with the respondents.

The CA, however, said the case has not been rendered moot and academic. As a result, there is no abuse of discretion in denying the motion, as the expiration of the car stickers of the respondents and the new color-coding scheme set up by the AAVAI and De La Salle Zobel do not make the complaint filed by the students moot.

The CA explained, "Here, the issue of whether the petitioner can validly implement the color coding or other similar scheme, directly or indirectly, has not been mooted and remains a valid and existing controversy."

"In other words," the CA added, "whether the petitioner has the power and authority to implement the color coding scheme or other similar scheme is still unanswered and its resolution still has to be determined and passed upon by the trial court after hearing the evidence of both parties."

The respondents say the authority of AAVAI to set up a traffic scheme should be discussed during the trial. The CA also said the AAVAI may still file an appeal before the court should the case not go their way.
Associate Justices Samuel Gaerlan and Ma Luisa Quijano-Padilla concurred with the ruling. –