[In the news] Legal suit filed vs SM Investments Corporation over planned mall expansion | Sun.Star

Legal suit filed vs SM Investments Corporation over planned mall expansion | Sun.Star.

By JM Agreda
February 29, 2012

AFTER weeks of preparation, oppositors to SM City Baguio’s planned mall expansion unleashed their complaint before the court at the Justice Hall Tuesday.

Some 132 individual complainants and group representatives against the mall expansion filed the case before Regional Trial Court Branch 5 Judge Antonio Estevez.

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The plaintiffs filed for an injunction against SM Investments Corporation, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Ramon Paje, lawyer Juan Miguel Cuna of the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau, and Department Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson.

The injunction is coupled with a prayer for temporary environmental protection order against the mall expansion.

In a public hearing conducted by the Baguio City Council committee on environment Monday, lawyer Cheryl Daytec-Yañgot bared the basis of their actions that include provisions of the Constitution and other international treaties to which the country is a signatory.

The legal team against the mall expansion is composed of lawyers Daytec-Yañgot, Christopher Donaal, Jansen Nacar, Jado Rafael Bongnadon, Christian Sia and Maria Cristina Yambot.

Daytec-Yañgot narrated the basis of their complaint that includes a provision of the 1987 Philippine Constitution stating: “The State shall advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accordance with the rhythm and harmony of nature.”

The lead counsel added: “The Philippines is said to be among the members of the international community with the best environmental laws aside from being a party to major international environmental conventions or treaties and other instruments which form part of our domestic law.”

These treaties include the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and various environmental UN declarations in Rio de Janeiro and Stockholm.

The complaint also highlighted DENR Administrative Order (DAO) 2003-30, an environmentally critical project, stressing public consultation must be done prior to issuing an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) regardless of location.

Read full article @ www.sunstar.com.ph

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