The Benguet Regional Trial Court Branch 63 has dismissed for lack of merit the complaint of the Cooperative Bank of Benguet Cooperation Foundation, Inc. (CBB-CFI) over the unpaid P5 million loan against the municipality La Trinidad.
In a decision released on Oct. 16, Judge Jennifer Humiding said the contract loan of P5M for the purchase of the blackhole technology as part of the waste management system plan entered into by then Mayor Gregorio Abalos, Jr. and CBB-CFI has violated the Local Government Code and existing rules and regulation.
But the decision absolved the municipality from the responsibility to pay the loan obligations because “it was an ultra vires act” or done beyond the scope of the authority of Abalos.
The decision explained the municipality is not liable for the contract of loan between Abalos and the CBB-CFI because there was no law or ordinance passed by the council supporting the contract loan.
“Consequently, the complaint for sum of money filed by plaintiff CBB-CFI against the defendant municipality of La Trinidad is dismissed for lack of merit,” the decision stated.
It added the persons who signed the promissory notes and resolutions are liable in their private and personal capacities.
The case stemmed from the allegation of the CBB-CFI that it released P5M as a loan, but the municipality failed to pay despite demands.
In Sept. 20, 2011, the municipal council issued a resolution authorizing Abalos to obtain a P5M loan from CBB-CFI for the acquisition of the zero waste technology called “blackhole”.
Abalos then entered into a P5M contract of loan, through a promissory note in favor of the CBB-CFI, which was to mature on March 28, 2012.
With this, the CBB-CFI filed the case for the collection of sum of money and damages on July 6, 2012 against original defendants: Abalos, and former council members Romeo Salda, Jim Botiwey, Henry Kipas, Arthur Shontogan, Roderick Awingan, Horacio Ramos, Estrella Adeban, Francis Lee, Von Ryan Tauli, Robert Namoro, Brenden Kim Quintos, Municipal Administrator Charles Canuto, and Municipal Budget Officer Imelda Grupo.
Also, it stated the persons who signed the promissory notes and resolutions are liable in their private and personal capacities.
Earlier, the CBB-CFI dropped Canuto, Grupo, and the former municipal council members as defendants in their private capacities.
Only Abalos was sued in the case in his official capacity.
In July, the same court also dismissed the case for the collection of sum of money filed by the CBBI-CFI against the municipality for lack of merit.
CBBI-CFI has filed the complaint against the municipality over the latter’s supposed unpaid P18M loan over its acquisition of the zero-waste technology or the super black hole machine in 2011. – Ofelia C. Empian