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Cagayan de Oro
Wednesday, July 17, 2024
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Fate of COWD interim board hangs as judge inhibits hearing appeal

By MARK FRANCISCO

A regional trial court (RTC) judge here has recused himself from hearing an appeal prohibiting the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) from fully intervening in the operations of local utility Cagayan de Oro Water District (COWD).
Gerry Cano – one of the COWD directors affected by the interim intervention and among the petitioners – said that he and his colleagues have filed a motion for reconsideration after the sala of RTC Misamis Oriental Branch 38 denied their petition prohibiting LWUA’s intervention and reinstating status quo ante in COWD.
But the judge assigned has inhibited himself, Cano said.
Cano did not identify the magistrate but according to records, it was RTC Misamis Oriental Branch 38 presiding judge Emmanuel Pasal who signed the June 13 order denying the petitioners.
Cano along with fellow affected COWD directors Nelia Lee and Janet Floirendo, and affected general manager Antonio Young earlier argued that LWUA’s intervention was not in order and petitioners’ rights to exercise their functions were invaded.
But in its decision, the court stated that the petitioners have failed to prove that LWUA’s action has caused grave and irreparable injury to them.
Thus, the petition was denied.
But with this new development of the judge’s recusal, hearing of the motion for reconsideration will have to be raffled off to another sala and a date is still set.
It was Young’s action to question LWUA that landed him in hot water and irked COWD interim general manager Fermin Jarales.
On June 26, Jarales issued an order barring Young from entering his office and requiring him to work from home instead.
“Should you forcefully enter COWD premises or any of its properties or conduct activities therein without authority, the concerned security personnel shall be immediately dispatched to remove you physically,” read a portion of the order.

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