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Prime, interrupted: Judge TROs Villar-firm takeover of BACIWA

BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Lone opposition Councilor Wilson Gamboa Jr. sees the temporary restraining order issued by Regional Trial Court Judge Phoebe Gargantiel as a “partial victory” against the looming “privatization” of the water utilities firm.

“It gives us a fresh lease on life, so to speak,” Gamboa told DNX shortly after Gargantiel issued the order just four days before Primewater Infrastructure Corporation is set to take over the firm’s management through a joint venture agreement.

Gamboa said the order issued by Gargantiel will only give time for the contending parties to submit their written arguments to the court.

Mona Dia Jardin, BACIWA corporate secretary, said the order was not a ruling on the merits of the case but to just give time to the threshing out of issues both sides have presented.

Besides, Jardin said, the respondents, which include her, have not submitted their judicial affidavits yet.

Gamboa and some Bacolod residents have earlier filed a petition before Gargantiel.

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