TRO VS DOTR Homeowners to ask court for restraining order

MORE than 100 residents and lot owners of a  middle-class subdivision, enraged by  the prospect of living in “homes along da riles,” may opt to go to court to stop the Department of Transportation (DOTr) from building portion of the  Mindanao Railway Project (Tagum-Davao-Digos section) in their subdivision.

This was learned from Jesito “Jet” V. Villamor, president of the Monteritz Classic Estates Homeowners Association, Inc. (MCEHAI), who said that the association “vehemently objects” to the plan of DOTr and ARUP, its project consultant, to build the railways inside Monteritz, thereby adversely affecting 40 homeowners and 67 owners of lots who are in the subdivision’s Phase 1.

Appearing in last week’s Kapehan sa Dabaw media forum at SM Annex, Villamor said that the remaining residents and lot owners in Phase 2 of Monteritz will surely be affected by the  railway.

He revealed that the plan to build the railway inside Monteritz subdivision was a new plan as the original plan indicated that the railway track was to be constructed outside the subdivision, particularly in the proposed Monteritz Town Plaza, to be developed by the same company which developed the  Monteritz subdivision.

“That’s why some homeowners felt betrayed by the developer when they learned that the original railway alignment was amended and would no longer hit the proposed town plaza, as they (the homeowners) later discovered,” Villamor said.

There was no prior meeting or consultation with the residents made by DOTr officials and consultants about the amended alignment, according to Villamor, although they later met the officials in a special meeting and later during a committee hearing in the Davao City Council.

He said the association is demanding that the DOTr revise the plan and suggested that the railway be built outside along the Diversion Highway ( C.P. Garcia Highway) which has eight lanes and some ample space along the easements of the highway.

The homeowners are not at all against the railway project as in fact it is lauding the government for such a project, but not at our expense, Villamor said.

He said the DOTr should have no difficulty transferring the tracks to outside Monteritz since it has accommodated other subdivisions in Davao City hit by the proposed railway alignment.

Villamor said he was referring to a subdivision in Cabantian, Buhangin and another subdivision with a golf course in Catalunan Pequeno which have been hit in the original plan that was revised later.

He said “homeowners cannot believe the boast of a DOTr official assuring them that they will not be disturbed even if the railway will pass inside the subdivision because it will be built using the latest technology.”

“What we have learned in the news is that leaders of Davao are enraged when they discovered that DOtr planned to build a single-track locomotive railway and tat their demand for the plan to be changed has not been acted upon by the NEDA (National Economic and Development Authority) Board  until lately,” Villamor said.

If push comes to shove, the homeowners can embrace the option of going to court to sue and petition for a temporary restraining order (TRO) to stop the construction, he said.

Last Monday morning, Mrs. Misie Muyco Cruz, 76, year-old homeowner, appeared in Kapehan to reinforce the stand of the association. She said she dreaded the prospects of the train shaking their home every so often which is definitely going to be very bad for her husband who is recuperating from a recent stroke.

Earlier this week, DOTr officials and consultants are studying proposals to amend the railway plan. AMA