SC: Mikee Romero can retake port from his dad

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There will be no more legal impediment for trader and 1-Pacman party-list Rep. Michael Romero to take control of the business that he and his father, Reghis Romero, had disputed.

The apparent relief came after the Supreme Court (SC) ruled that Romero can now retake and operate Harbour Centre Port Terminal Inc. (HCPTI) in Tondo, Manila.

In a ruling dated August 24, 2016 that was released just recently, the High Court rejected a petition for certiorari filed by Reghis Romero and HCPTI and denied their application for temporary restraining order (TRO) and writ of preliminary injunction.

The SC has effectively affirmed a ruling of the Court of Appeals (CA) that had favored the younger Romero.


Mikee won his case before the CA Special Fifteenth Division last May 12, 2016 that One Source Port Services is the rightful operator of the Harbour Centre Port based on a valid and legal Port Ancillary Services Contract and Port Services Management Contract that it signed on January 22, 2007 and June 5, 2014, respectively, with HCPTI but were unilaterally voided without valid basis by the older Romero.

In dismissing Reghis Romero and HCPTI’s petition for certiorari and TRO, the Supreme Court ruled that the CA has already rendered a decision dated May 12, 2016.

The respondent judge, based on pleadings, arguments and evidence so far presented, granted One Source’s application for TRO.

He was not convinced that Reghis Romero II, R-II Builders and R-II Holdings were the owners of the majority shares of HCPTI, hence, he did not sustain the unilateral cancellation of the Port Ancillary Service Contract and Port Services Management Contract executed between One Source and HCPTI and the eviction of One Source from the facility, the CA ruled.

In the ruling, penned by Associate Justice Leoncia Dimagiba, the appellate court agreed with the ruling of Pasig City Regional Trial Court Judge Rolando Mislang and found that Reghis had illegally ousted One Source from Harbour Centre.

“Thus, we agree with the preliminary findings of the public respondent that by virtue of the two contracts, the operations and management of the terminal facility must be restored to One Source,” the CA ruled.

“Verily, in the absence of any court’s declaration of rescission and/or nullity of said public documents, Port Ancillary Service Contract and Port Services Management Contract, both contracts are enforceable as a matter of law between One Source and HCPTI,” it said.

The High Court also affirmed an October 26, 2015 CA resolution where Associate Justice Rodil Zalameda inhibited himself from the HCPTI case.

In October 2014, Reghis who was assisted by armed men, forcibly ousted One Source and took over the port terminal’s operations.

Then One Source immediately lodged an application for a (TRO) in November 2014 before Branch 167 of the Regional Trial Court in Pasig City (Metro Manila) that issued a 20-day TRO in favor of One Source on December 1, 2014 and barred Romero from interfering in the port’s operations.

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