Home » Ports/Terminals » PPA to appeal court ruling indemnifying cargo handler

THE Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) will likely appeal a court decision ordering the agency to pay hundreds of millions in damages to a North Harbor cargo-handling operator.

Last week, the Court of Appeals (CA) ordered PPA to pay at least P280 million in damages and rentals to Manila International Ports Terminals, Inc (MIPTI), a cargo handler which operated in the 1980s, after the port agency took over the company’s operation and equipment due to an executive order (EO) that revoked MIPTI’s franchise.

The CA’s Ninth Division said EO No. 30, issued by the late President Corazon Aquino in July 1986, is unconstitutional because it was not duly published.

The court also reaffirmed the ruling of the Manila City Regional Trial Court declaring illegal the revocation of the franchise of MIPTI and subsequent take over of its property and equipment by the PPA for alleged failure to comply with rules on the management and operation of cargo-handling services.

“MIPTI is entitled to exemplary damages considering the arbitrary and hasty action of PPA in recommending the revocation of its franchise and the malevolent, oppressive and hasty manner by which it took over the business and properties of MIPTI,” the court said.

It noted PPA deprived MIPTI of due process when it took over without conducting an investigation of charges against the company.

CA directed PPA to pay MIPTI at least P100 million representing the value of the seized equipment and other property with interest of 6% from the filing of the complaint on September 23, 1986 up to the finality of the decision, and unrealized profits for the period from July 21, 1986 when PPA took over port operations up to January 16, 2003.

The court also directed the agency to pay MIPTI P180 million as rent for the use of its properties and equipment as well as P200,000 in exemplary damages and P500,000 in attorney’s fees.

PortCalls sources said the PPA has yet to receive a copy of the ruling. Any decision will have to be presented to the PPA Board, which usually meets on the last week of every month.

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