Group Files Motion to Intervene in Banana Firms’ Case vs Davao City Gov’t

May. 10, 2007

DAVAO CITY — Affected residents of Davao City s third district have asked the court to allow them to intervene in the case filed against the city government by the Philippine Banana Growers and Exporters Association, Davao Fruits Corporation, and the Lapanday Agricultural and Development Corporation.

The case stemmed from the passage and signing into law in February of the ordinance banning aerial spraying, something that the banana companies have consistently been opposing to since day one of the deliberations whether or not the chemical application practice should be banned.

The group filed Tuesday at the Regional Trial Court Branch 17 the motion for leave to intervene and opposition to the issuance of a preliminary injunction sought by the banana companies led by the PBGEA.

A preliminary injunction is defined by wikipedia as an injunction entered by a court to restrain a party from going forward with a course of conduct until the case has been decided.

The motion came even before the city government can file its answer to the courts order for the city officials to show cause why the Writ of Preliminary Injunction should not be issued.

The movants-intervenors are Wilfredo Mosqueda, Marcelo Villaganes, Crispin Alcomendras, Corazon Sabinada, Rebeca Saligumba, Carolina Pilongo, Alejandra Bentoy, Ledevina Adlawan, and Virgenia Cata-ag, all residents of areas close and within banana plantations which are directly affected by aerial spraying.

(They) have experienced the adverse effects thereof on their health and livelihood. Their residences and farms are found in areas within or adjacent to banana plantations. They have personally experienced having been sprayed upon with substances coming from the plane/or inhaled the same, or having their crops and water sources sprayed with the substance, states the motion which is signed by the groups legal counsel led by lawyers Raissa Jajurie and her colleagues from the Sentro ng Alternatibong Lingap Panligal (Saligan).

Three other intervenors are residents and taxpayers of Davao City .

The motion also states that the movant-intervenors do not only intervene for themselves but also for others who are similarly situation but are so numerous that it is impractical to bring them before the honorable court.

The subject matter of the controversy is one of the common or general interests to many persons, especially the residents of Davao City , the motion stated.

It also stressed that the intervenors invoked the constitutional right to a balanced and healthful ecology, health, as guaranteed in the two provisions of article II of the 1987 Philippine Constitution: section 15 which states that the state shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them; and section which states that the state shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.

The group is standing on the basic requisites to sustain their legal standing which is for the enforcement of a public right and for the espousal of the said right by a Filipino citizen.

Movants-intervenors are citizens of the Philippines , part of the general public, and residents of Davao City , who are seeking to enforce their right to health and to a balanced ecology. Such interest gives them standing to ensure the implementation and enforcement of the assailed city ordinance, the motion said.

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