Citing strict zoning rules and building requirements, Mandaluyong Mayor Benhur Abalos has opposed a court order directing the city government to allow a developer to construct a 37-story condominium along the Mandaluyong side of Edsa.
Abalos refused to grant the building permit to AMA Land Inc. despite a court order issued by Judge Romulo Villanueva of Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 256, saying that approving or denying construction permits is the prerogative of the mayor and cannot be ordered by the court.
Villanueva had ordered the Mandaluyong city engineer to issue an amended building permit to AMA Land Inc. to build the AMA Tower residences, envisioned to be a 1,859-square meter 37 floor-structure to stand on the corner of Edsa and Fordham Street in Barangay Wack Wack.
The order dated Sept. 9, 2010, warned the city government it could face sanctions for noncompliance. It added that the Mandaluyong city engineer had not submitted a comment on AMA Land Inc.’s petition even if he was given a chance to do so. The “defiance” of the city government will have a “deleterious effect on the rehabilitation” of AMA Land Inc, the court said.
AMA Land Inc.’s application for corporate rehabilitation was granted by the same Muntinlupa RTC judge.
But Abalos was firm in contesting the court order. He said the building permit issued to AMA in 1997 had been forfeited since the firm halted work operations.
“If I just want the city to earn, I’d allow 37-story structures anywhere. But we have to consider traffic, zoning and congestion problems,” Abalos said, adding that structures of this nature are banned under the city’s zoning rules approved in 2005.
The city’s legal department has filed a motion asking Villanueva to reverse its earlier decision.
Nina Calleja, Phil. Daily Inquirer