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Group eyes TRO vs. path of railway

The Monteritz Classic Estates Homeowners Association is planning to file a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the construction of the Mindanao Railway Project as it will pass through part of its subdivision and will affect 40 homeowners and 67 lot owners.
“I think the worst scenario would be us filing a temporary restraining order (TRO). We are exhausting all the possible means that we have. In fact, we wanted to go as high as to whatever is the highest (means) for us to be considered,” Jet Villamor, president of the Monteritz Classic Estates Homeowners Association told reporters Monday during the Kapehan sa Dabaw media forum.
Villamor said they have already consulted their lawyers as they are willing to resort to whatever legal means available as he explained that they are not against the development of Mindanao with the railway project but they were disappointed that they were not consulted during the discussions on the plans for the path of the railway.
“The DOTr (Department of Transportation) was saying that this project was conceptualized some 40 years ago, but if there was only a disclosure, then people would have not brought a land here if we knew that a railway project will traverse here,” Villamor explained.
He said it would be better for railway to traverse through the Diversion Road in Maa since it is already a public property.
“We made a computation per square meter (of land area) that will be directly and indirectly affected by the railway. With the current price per square meter at P44,000, it may total to about P734 million. Definitely, if they will opt for the Diversion Road, they will not spend for the acquisition cost because it is a public property,” he explained.
He also expressed his dismay to the developers of Monteritz – Robern Development and UrbanEast Development, which are also the developers of a town plaza in Monteritz.
The initial path of railway will traverse through the proposed area of the town plaza which is a vacant lot.
“They paused the construction for a while but we were shocked because after the recent committee hearing last (February 21), they released an advertisement in one local newspaper,” Villamor said.
“We feel so bad. We were hurt and disheartened that our developers did not invite us during the talks. We were never invited to any discussions before the committee hearing,” he added.
Villamor also thwarted DOTr Assistant Secretary Eymard Eje’s as the latter claimed that the
current alignment will have the least cost possible.
“The cost that they are actually looking at is the absolute peso, but what we are actually looking at is the emotional cost which is unquantifiable for the retirees, for the sick elderlies and for the homeowners who chose to be there because of the kind of community that we have,” he said.
The tentative schedule for the National Economic and Development Authority – Investment Coordination Committee (NEDA-ICC) deliberation on the project scope including its alignment will be on February 28.

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