THE Social Security System (SSS), through the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC), has asked the Supreme Court (SC) to bar the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) from taking over a property in Pasay City.

In a 16-page petition for certiorari filed yesterday, the SSS, through Government Corporate Counsel Rudolf Philip B. Jurado, asked for a status quo ante order and/or a writ of preliminary injunction on Pasay City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 108 on its decisions dated March 2 and April 24, 2017

The court orders issued by Judge Gina M. Bibat-Palamos is a 60,872 square meter-property of the SSS in Pasay City.

The earlier of the RTC rulings directed the “expropriation” of the property by granting the NGCP’s Motion for Issuance of Writ of Possession, while the second ruling rejected the motion for reconsideration filed by the SSS.

The OGCC alleged that Judge Palamos acted with grave abuse of discretion when the court issued the orders.

“The property is intended for the use by the SSS in the furtherance of its mandate, which is subject of an Expropriation Case instituted by the [NGCP], a private corporation with the general power to expropriate private property,” the OGCC said in a statement.

“On the premise of a mere delegated power to expropriate, a Court granted NGCP the right to enter and take over the land it seeks to own without evident circumspection,” the OGCC pointed out.

The RTC accepted the NGCP’s argument, which was based on Section 6 of Republic Act 10752.

However, the OGCC reiterated that the said law does not apply to the NGCP, “owing to [its] private character and the public character of the SSS’ land to be expropriated.”

The OGCC also pointed out that under the law, “whenever it is necessary to acquire real property for right-of-way site or location for any government infrastructure through expropriation, the appropriate implementing agency, through the Office of the Solicitor General, Office of the Government Corporate Counsel or their deputized counsel, shall initiate the expropriation proceedings. “

However, the NGCP, as argued by the OGCC, “condescendingly arrogated upon itself the authority to initiate expropriation proceedings without seeking the required authority.”

The OGCC also pointed out that the NGCP took possession of the contested property on May 8.

“Pending action by this Honorable Court on the Petition, SSS is entitled to have Judge Palamos, NGCP and all persons acting for or in their behalf enjoined from continuing with the implementation of the null and void writ of possession,” the OGCC added. — Kristine Joy V. Patag