PEZA v. De Lima (G.R. No.181274; June 23, 2010)

CASE DIGEST: PHILIPPINE ECONOMIC ZONE AUTHORITY, represented herein by DIRECTOR GENERAL LILIA B. DE LIMA, Petitioner, v. JOSEPH JUDE CARANTES, et. al.,Respondents. (G.R. No.181274; June 23, 2010).

FACTS: Respondents and the heirs of Maximino Carantes are in possession of a parcel of land located Baguio City. On June 20, 1997, they obtained Certificate of Ancestral Land Claim over the land from the DENR and secured a building permit and a fencing permitfrom the Building Official of Baguio City. Before long, they fenced the premises and began constructing a residential building thereon. Soon, respondents received a letterfrom. Torres, the Zone Administrator of PEZA, informing them that the house they built had overlapped PEZAs territorial boundary. Torres advised respondents to demolish the same within sixty (60) days from notice. Otherwise, PEZA would undertake its demolition at respondents expense. Without answering PEZAs letter, respondents filed a petition for injunction, with prayer for the issuance of a TRO and writ of preliminary injunction before the RTC who granted the same, stating that that respondents are entitled to possess, occupy and cultivate the subject lots on the basis of their CALC. CA affirmed the ruling hence the said petition for certiorari.

ISSUE: Is it the petitioner or the City Engineer or Baguio City who has legal authority to issue building and fencing permits for the construction within the PEZA-BCEZ?HELD: By specific provision of law, it is the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), through its building officials, which has authority to issue building permits for the construction of structures within the areas owned or administered by it, whether on public or private lands. Corollary to this, PEZA, through its director general, may require owners of structures built without said permit to remove such structures within 60 days. Otherwise, PEZA may summarily remove them at the expense of the owner of the houses, buildings or structures. Considering that, in this case, a fencing permit is issued complementary to a building permit and that, within its premises, PEZA may properly issue a building permit, it is only fitting that fencing permits be issued by PEZA within such premises. PEZA acted well within its functions when it demanded the demolition of the structures, which respondents had put up without first securing building and fencing permits from the Authority. GRANTED.