RTC orders Naga City to pay P3M to Tato Mendoza

NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard)—The Regional Trial Court has awarded FPM Corporation, represented by its president Fortunato “Tato” P. Mendoza, a total amount of P3,090,100.00 as damages for the unjust takeover and cancellation of his permit to operate the Central Bus Terminal (now Bicol Central Station).

In an order dated October 11, 2019, Judge Erwin Virgilio Ferrer of RTC Branch 19 directed the city government to pay Mendoza P1,000,000.00 as moral damages; P500,000.00 as temperate damages; P500,000.00 as exemplary damages; P1,000,000.00 as Attorney’s fees; and P90,100.00 as Court’s commission.

Meanwhile, a Motion for Reconsideration, dated 6 September 2019, was filed by the city government, through Atty. Mcgyver Gerard S. Orbina of the City Legal Office.

The court, however, said it was “not persuaded by the contentions [in the Motion for Reconsideration] for lack of legal basis and misapplied jurisprudence.”

“The Joint Decision,” the court said, “having long attained finality, the plaintiff as the prevailing party is entitled to a Writ of Execution as matter of right. As such, he ought not to be harassed by subsequent proceedings.”

“Every litigation must come to an end,” the court added, “While access to the Court is guaranteed, there must be a limit to it.”

Antecedent events

It will be recalled that in 2013, Mendoza filed legal action against city hall officials due to an alleged violation of his rights under an existing contract which allowed him to operate the Central Bus Terminal here.

Then Mayor John Bongat issued an Executive Order that created the Central Bus Terminal Transition Committee, which led to the termination of Mendoza’s contract.

Mendoza vehemently objected to this, which resulted in the filing of the complaint against City Hall officials.

Notice of Garnishment

Meanwhile, a Notice of Garnishment signed by Sebastian T. Bolivar, Sheriff of the RTC Branch 19, was issued last November 12, addressed to the Development Bank of the Philippines Head Office, Office of the Legal Counsel.

The Notice reads: “You are hereby notified, that by virtue of the Writ of Execution dated September 17, 2019, a copy of which is hereto attached and served upon you, GARNISHMENT is hereby made upon all the goods, effects, stocks, interest in stocks, shares and any personal properties in your possession under your control belonging to herein defendant CITY GOVERNMENT OF NAGA sufficient to cover the amount.”