CA junks Vista Verde homeowners’ administrative complaint versus Cainta officials
The Court of Appeals (CA) has denied the petition of Vista Verde Country Homes Homeowners Association, Inc., seeking to hold the municipal officials of Cainta, Rizal, administratively liable over the construction of a two-storey building inside the subdivision.
In a recent 9-page decision, the CA 12th Division affirmed the Ombudsman’s October 15, 2015 resolution dismissing the group’s complaint for grave misconduct, oppression and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.
Let off the hook were Mayor Johnielle Keith Nieto, Vice-Mayor Sofia Schuck-Velasco, municipal engineer Dan Roan Gutierrez, and councilors Maria Loise Ticman, Allan Tajuna, Butch Tolentino, Gilbert Igtiben, Ace Servillon, Giovanni Jino Alcantara, Danio Cruz and Macairog dela Paz.
The homeowners’ association’s (HOA) complaint arose from the construction of a building for the Senior Citizens Association of Vista Verde Country Homes (SCA), which supposedly blocked the existing Administrative Building.
The HOA argued that it was not consulted about the project and that the municipal government did not present any building plan or permit. It also argued that the developer Sta. Lucia Realty Development, Inc., had not donated the village’s open spaces to either the HOA or the municipality.
Yet, the municipal government proceeded with the project over the HOA’s objections.
The CA, however, said the municipality “enjoys presumption of regularity” in its acceptance of the land for the project. It said that the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) was the proper body to determine the validity of the donation, not the Ombudsman.
“We find no showing of grave abuse of discretion to warrant the reversal of the Office of the Ombudsman’s Joint Resolution dismissing the administrative complaint against respondents,” read the decision penned by Associate Justice Ricardo Rosario.