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Court stops SBMA from taking over school in Subic

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority was prevented Friday morning from taking over a college inside Subic in connection with the Ayala Mall project inside the Freeport.

Comteq Computer and Business College which occupies around 7,000 square meters of school facility inside Subic and presently being used by more than 500 students was awarded by the SBMA to Ayala Land for a shopping mall project.

A police line was put by police officers from the SBMA Law Enforcement Department after SBMA took over a small portion of Comteq College including a basketball inside the campus. Photo by David Bayarong

Regional Trial Court Judge Raymund Viray ordered the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) to maintain status quo for a second time in two days.

Judge Viray ordered SBMA and Ayala Land not to take any action to disturb the status quo for five days or until a decision is issued by the court.

Ansbert Joaquin, administrator of Comteq Computer and Business College, said that they do not oppose the mall project, ‘since day one, we have made our position clear that all we want are equal space and amenities.’

‘‘SBMA administrator Armand Arreza illegally gave our property to Ayala Land despite the fact that we have existing lease contracts. Worst, Arreza, yesterday sent us a one day notice to vacate one of the four buildings that we are leasing telling us that they will take over the same today.  This, despite the absence of an SBMA board approval,’ he added.

This prompted more than 500 students to stage a mass action and picket the subject building to prevent the threat of a takeover.

In their petition, Joaquin told the court that SBMA is using the force and might of government to bring ‘us to our knees, disrupt our operations and the classes of our students to deliver Comteq’s properties to their gods in Ayala Land.’

Comteq urged the court to compel SBMA to respect Comteq’s lease agreements and provide facilities equivalent to the lease contracts in the event that it agrees to relocate in favor of Ayala Land’s mall.

Comteq also asked the court to issue a permanent injunction pending resolution of the case.

After the court stopped SBMA and Ayala Land, around 400 students share a boodle fight lunch with the faculty members.

SBMA however took over a small portion of Comteqs property including a basketball court located inside the school campus.

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