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Globe secures TRO versus deactivation of cell site in Calvary Hills, Cebu

 

Globe Telecom secured a temporary restraining order from the court relating to a city resolution providing for the deactivation of a cell site located in Calvary Hills in Barangay Apas in Cebu.

The Cebu City Regional Trial Court issued a TRO directing the Office of the City Mayor and the Sangguniang Panglunsod to desist from enforcing a closure order dated January 4, 2016, directing Globe Telecom to deactivate its cell tower located in Barangay Apas in Cebu City. Aside from the Cebu City Council and the the Office of the City Mayor, the TRO was also directed to the Office of the Barangay Chairman and the Calvary Hills Apas Residents’ Organization.

In granting Globe Telecom’s application for the issuance of a temporary restraining order, the court noted that Globe has an existing lease contract on the property for a period of two years from July 15, 2015 to July 14, 2017. The court also noted that following a clamor of residents of Barangay Apas to deactivate the cell site due to unsubstantiated claims that cell sites cause cancer, the Cebu City Council revoked the special use permit for Globe to utilize the area as a location of a cell site “even if DOH representatives went to the cell site to check whether it was compliant to the standards and found nothing wrong.” Following the issuance of the city resolution, the office of Acting City Mayor Ferdinand Labella eventually issued a closure order, directing Globe Telecom to cease operation of the cell site.

Globe maintained, however, that the resolution issued by the city council was in “total disregard of Globe Telecom’s constitutional right to due process of law” and that city council’s exercise of police power under the General Welfare Clause of the Local Government Code was “patently erroneous”.

Globe further stressed that the resolution was based on “defective and unsubstantiated findings” and that the revocation of the special use permit would “result to an injustice to Globe Telecom and its subscribers particularly in Barangay Apas and neighboring areas such as Maria Luisa Subdivision.” Globe Telecom began operating a cell site in the area in April 2000.