Rafael is GM of BENECO. Court denies request for TRO

BAGUIO CITY – (September 13, 2021) – Regional Trial Court Branch 60 (RTC-60) in Baguio City denied the plaintiffs’ prayer for issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) or status quo ante order against the assumption of office of Atty. Ana Maria Paz B. Rafael as General Manager (GM) of BENECO.

In a nine-page Order dated September 10, 2021, Judge Rufus Gayo  Malecdan Jr. said “plaintiffs want this court to sustain, albeit in the meantime, the validity of BENECO-BOD resolution 2020-190 which appointed Defendant Engr. Licoben as General Manager of Beneco. Consequently, should the relief be granted, this court although also in the meantime, would be preventing Defendant Atty. Rafael from assuming office as General Manager of Beneco. This would then be tantamount to a Temporary Restraining Order enjoining the implementation and effectivity of NEA-BOA Resolution No. 2021-47, which is an official act and decision of the National Electrification Administration (NEA),” the Order said.

The court went on to say “Rule 58 of the Rules of Court and prevailing jurisprudence on the matter require that before a writ of preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order is issued, the applicant must establish that it has a right to relief, a right in esse or a right to be protected and the act against which the injunction is directed is violative of such right. The right must be clear and unmistakable. The applicant must establish that there is a need to restrain the commission or continuance of the acts complained of and if not enjoined would work injustice to the applicant, “

It added “plaintiffs’ justify their prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order by alleging that they are in danger of facing charges for insubordination should they disobey the orders of either of the contending defendants,” which the court was not convinced.

“There appears to be no conflicting orders, instructions, or memoranda from defendants,” the Order said.  It can be recalled that the NEA appointed Atty. Ana Maria Paz Rafael as General Manager of Beneco following a rigorous screening process where Rafael’s score emerged to be a mile difference higher than her competitor Licoben who insisted to be the general manager despite the legal assumption in the office of Rafael.  ###