RTC junks TRO vs LTO

The Department of Transportation’s Land Transportation Office on Saturday welcomed the decision of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court denying the petition for a temporary restraining order filed by  a lawyer against the DOTC (now DOTr) Road Transportation IT Infrastructure Project.

In a decision dated Sept. 26, 2018 penned by Judge Maria Luisa Lesle C. Gonzales-Betic of Branch 225 of the QC RTC, the court denied the issuance of TRO for lack of merit.

“We welcome the decision of the QC RTC to deny the prayer for the issuance of the TRO due to lack of merit. With this, the LTO is able to freely pursue the implementation of the project,” LTO Assistant Secretary Edgar C. Galvante said.

The prayer for the TRO adjunct to the main suit of Injunction for the DOTr-LTO’s project titled, DOTC (now DOTr) Road Transportation IT Infrastructure Project, Component B, including its subcomponents which stemmed from the complaint filed by a certain  lawyer Salvador B. Belaro Sr., who claimed that the splitting of the project into components is in violation of Republic Act No. 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.

In its decision, the court ruled that the complainant failed to present meritorious grounds for the issuance of a TRO. The only ground on which the application for a TRO is based is protection from unnecessary government spending should the project fail and the IT system becomes inoperative.

The court pointed out that the TRO/Injunction is not designed to protect contingent or future rights.

“An injunction is not a remedy to protect or enforce contingent, abstract, or future rights; it will not issue to protect a right not in esse and which may never arise, or to restrain an act which does not give rise to a cause of action. There must exist an actual right.

It added that “there must be a patent showing by the complaint that there exists a right to be protected and that the acts against which the writ is to be directed are violative of said right.”

It concluded that “In the present case, this Court finds no such actual and existing right in favor of the plaintiff that demands protection by the office of a TRO. To stress, the plaintiff is asking that a future or contingent right be protected. Said right is not in esse and may never arise.”

According to Galvante, the objective of the DOTr-LTO RoadTransportation IT Infrastructure Project is to establish a state-of-the-art and ISO-compliant IT system that will support the current and future demands of the agency’s operations. This includes establishing an LTO online platform to facilitate transactions.

This initiative is in line with Republic Act No. 11032, otherwise known as “Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018,” and aligned with President Rodrigo Duterte’s thrust to eradicate corruption and red-tape in government transactions.

Topics: Quezon City Regional Trial Court , RTC , TRO , Department of Transportation’s Land Transportation Office , LTO , DOTC (now DOTr) Road Transportation IT Infrastructure Project
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