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Court settles Leyte water district directors’ dispute

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By Nestor L. Abrematea

Tacloban City – A court has settled the row between two sets of directors at the Leyte Metropolitan Water District (LMWD).

The settlement came after directors Roberto Muñoz, Bautista G. Corpin Jr., Jennylyn P. Manibay, Sharalle G. Mauro and Bernardita Valenzuela, withdrew their petition against directors Teodoro De Veyra, Teresa Montubig, Iluminado Lantajo Jr., Aldin Surpia and Dr. Alice U Blas.

Munoz’s group had petitioned Regional Trial Court Branch 9 Judge Leonito S. Sabandal challenging the appointment of the De Veyra side.

But Sabandal upheld the status of De Veyra’s group as the board of directors at the time the petition was filed until January 17, when the petitioners barged into the LMWD office and took over the board.

Munoz and the other petitioners were appointees of Mayor Cristina G. Romualdez.

“By withdrawing their petition, petitioners in effect abandoned their legal avenue to challenge the incumbents. The end result is that respondents ought to remain as incumbent board of directors until removed by competent authorities or by the courts. As such, in order not to confuse the public in general and the LWMD employees in particular, petitioners should refrain from representing themselves as members of the Board of Directors until they are declared as such by the Court as what they prayed for in their petition which unfortunately they now have abandoned,” Sabandal ruled.

The LMWD controversy began last August 8 after Romualdez appointed the five new directors, claiming she has the power to replace the appointees of Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla.

The LMWD serves Tacloban and the towns of Palo, Sta. Fe, Tabontabon, Tolosa, Dagami and Pastrana in Leyte.

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