Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Thursday, December 28, 2006

CA upholds used-car import ruling

THE Court of Appeals has dismissed the petition of Malacañang contesting the order of an Olongapo City court allowing corporations in the Subic Bay Freeport to intervene in a case involving the importation of second-hand vehicles.

In a seven-page decision promulgated last December 13, the Court’s 8th Division ruled that the Olongapo Regional Trial Court Branch 74 did not commit grave abuse of discretion in granting the plea of Asia International Auctioneers, Global International Phils. and Subic Bay Motor Corp. to intervene in the trial.

The Court stressed that although private corporations are prohibited from importing or trading in used vehicles, the prohibition is not absolute because the firms are authorized to bring the used vehicles into the freeport, as cited in Article 1 of their Certificate of Registration and Tax Exemption.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita and the Bureau of Customs filed a petition with the Court of Appeals challenging the Olongapo court order.

The appellate court affirmed the May 30, 2006 ruling of Olongapo Judge Ramon Caguioa that allowed the corporations to question the constitutionality of Executive Order 418, which imposes an additional specific duty of P500,000 for every imported used motor vehicle.

The Court said “…no grave abuse of discretion can be imputed to the respondent judge in allowing the intervention of the private respondents upon a finding that on the basis of the documentary evidence, the private respondents were able to establish the minimum legal interest in the matter in litigation.”

Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe wrote the decision that was concurred in by Justices Renato Dacudo and Rosmari Carandang.
--Jomar Canlas - Manila Times


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