Port operator asks CA justice to inhibit from Harbour Centre case

/ 04:49 PM April 19, 2015
Harbour Centre Port Terminal Inc.

Screengrab from http://www.harbourcentre.com.ph/

A PORT services operator has asked Court of Appeals Associate Justice Danton Bueser to inhibit himself from hearing the case involving the Harbour Centre Port Terminal Inc. (HCPTI) in Manila.

In a 26-page motion, a copy of which was given to reporters over the weekend, respondent One Source Port Support Services accused Bueser of being impartial and bias in favor of businessman Reghis Romero II, who is at the center of the dispute on the ownership and management of the port.


Bueser is a member of the appeals court special second division that issued a temporary restraining order last January against a Pasig City regional trial court’s 2014 ruling allowing One Source Port Services to manage and operate HCPTI.

They said Bueser is always a signatory to a ruling related to the case even if the court’s composition has changed.


In one instance, One Source said that last Dec. 12, 2014 the 2nd division issued a resolution written by Bueser ordering Romero II to amend his petition by impleading HCPTI as co-petitioner even though Romero II did not file any motion.

It added that last January 5, the appeals court through Bueser issued a restraining order against the Pasig Court’s ruling which was followed by a March 11, 2015 resolution by Bueser which ordered the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction that stopped Judge Rolando Mislang’s TRO and his previous orders regarding the HCPTI case.

“It should be emphasized that in all these resolutions above, and despite the many changes in the composition of the Justices issuing said resolutions, Justice Bueser remained a constant signatory,” One Source’s motion noted.

“Because of the casual violation of the private respondent’s basic right to due process as a result of the issuance of the aforesaid resolution, private respondent could not help but lose its trust and confidence that it can still obtain a fair treatment in this case, unless Associate Justice Danton Q. Bueser totally inhibits himself in this case,” the motion said.

In the motion, One Source said the preliminary injunction order dated last March 11 violated laws as it expanded the scope of the amended petition to include other matters without giving One Source the opportunity to respond.

“Despite the uncertainty or dispute anent the ownership of petitioner-corporation HCPTI, (Bueser) allowed the HCPTI to be a petitioner in this case thus, giving an undue advantage to one faction of HCPTI, particularly that of the faction of petitioner Reghis Romero II,” it said.

It said that only the faction of Romero II was recognized and given a copy of the March 11 preliminary injunction order, giving undue preference to it over the other faction.


One Source said it “most respectfully prays that the ponente in this case, Honorable Associate Justice Danton Q. Bueser, voluntarily inhibit and/or disqualify himself from further handling the case. AC

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