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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Villar group wins extended TRO in row vs. BF Resort

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Officials of the BF Resort Village Homeowners Association, Inc. (BFRVHAI) lost another round in their legal fight with a group of like-minded Las Piñas residents led by Sen. Cynthia Villar over the opening of a particular street to the general public.

This developed after the Las Pinas Regional Trial Court (RTC) extended to 20 days ending on Oct. 9, 2022 its initial 72-hour temporary restraining order (TRO) issued on September 19 granted to Villar’s camp.

Meanwhile, the court set arguments for the issuance of a preliminary writ of injunction on Sept. 27-30.

The TRO as petitioned by Villar’s group prohibits the implementation of the new village traffic scheme whereby Onelia Jose St. inside the BF Resort Village (BFRV) would be open to the public as classified under the so-called Las Pinas Friendship Route.

The court initially upheld the petitioners’ claim that the BFRV’s traffic scheme was causing irreparable injury to non-residents of the village.

Villar, a resident of BFRV since 1976, along with Rommel Dela Cruz and Virgilio Hernandez filed last Sept. 19 the petition for prohibition and mandamus with application for TRO and/or Preliminary Injunction against the BFRVHAI and its officers specifically Euan Rex Toralballa, Michael Roxas, and Angelo Ted Diesmos, among others.

“The Petition seeks to enjoin the respondents from enforcing the new BFRVHAI administration’s traffic scheme and instead comply with the local ordinances on Las Piñas Friendship Route,” said Villar.

“This include allowing Las Piñas City resident-holders of Friendship Route stickers to freely access and pass through the street, roads, avenues and thoroughfares declared to be part of the ‘Friendship Route’ in BFRV under the local ordinances,” she added. 

The court found urgency issue a 72-hour TRO to prevent further damage, such as travel costs, productivity, wasted fuel and economic activity slow down to the city residents.

As early as 1995, the city government issued an ordinance directing developers and homeowners associations  in Las Piñas to open and allow the public to freely use their streets as alternative routes (so called “Friendship Route”) to ease or decongest traffic along Alabang-Zapote Road and other main streets in Las Piñas, and imposing penalty for any violation.

The ordinance and the subsequent ordinances that followed, particularly City Ordinance No. 715 series of 2006, enumerated the specific streets and roads in every subdivision, village or compound that are covered by the “Friendship Route”. 

The BFRV has ten such streets, including Onelia Jose that are part of the “Friendship Route”.

The controversy arose last July 24 after the newly-installed village administration posted  security guards at the Onelia Jose St. who prevented Las Piñas resident-holders of the “Friendship” stickers to freely use the Onelia Jose St. that connects to the Zapote River Drive leading to CAVITEX and the bridge that leads to Bacoor, Cavite at a shorter distance. 

Under the new traffic scheme implemented, non-BFRV residents, even if they are Las Piñas residents and holders of friendship stickers, will only be allowed entry and exit via Onelia Jose St. by BFRVHAI if they will buy BFRV sticker worth P2,500 per vehicle.

The move by the BFRVHAI’s new administration allegedly created confusion and protests from many Las Piñas residents of other subdivisions and villages since they have been enjoying their right of free access to the friendship route since 1995.

Meanwhile, BFRV residents, who are also Las Piñas residents, are allowed free access to the ‘Friendship” streets within their respective territories, without charging them with sticker fees as what BFRV is doing to them.

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