File photo by Leanne Jazul/Rappler
MANILA, Philippines – The court has spoken: the Philippine School of Business Administration-Quezon City (PSBA-QC) will not close down on Friday, October 18.
The Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 104 has issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) on Thursday, October 17, stopping the closure of the school and all its educational programs.
The decision was released Thursday afternoon, legal counsel for PSBA-QC students Antonio Enrile Inton Jr told Rappler in a phone interview.
"The court said we have proven that the closure of PSBA will result to irreparable injury [to students] which is why they granted the TRO," he said.
Inton said the defendants also withdrew the financial statements they were supposed to present to court on Wednesday, October 16.
They brought these documents as evidence during the first hearing on the TRO last Monday, October 14, but they were not original or certified true copies.
The financial statements were supposed to prove the school's claim that it had incurred losses for the past 8 years – one of the two reasons cited in the notice of closure dated September 20.
The other reason cited in that closure advisory was the continuous operation of the school by Benjamin Paulino without "an independent permit from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED)" and "authority from PSBA-QC."
According to Inton, the defendants submitted only the following documents to court: the Securities and Exchange Commission general information sheet, and the correspondence for other schools to accept PSBA-QC students.
"Ang closure ng school 'di puwedeng mid-year. Dapat at the end of an academic year – assuming na may ground to close the school. (A school cannot close mid-year. It should be at the end of an academic year – assuming there are grounds to close the school)," Inton argued.
Without documents presented in court, the defendants had no grounds to insist on closing down the school, he said
The TRO prohibits the implementation of the contents of the notice of closure for a maximum of 20 days – enough time, Inton said, for students to enroll for the second semester. (READ: Uncertainties for students, teachers amid PSBA-QC board war)
“So 'yung closure order hindi mai-implement 'yan. Tuloy ang PSBA.... At 'yung 20 days na yun makaka-enroll na yung mga estudyante nun. (The closure order will no longer be implemented. PSBA will go on. And within the 20 days, students can already enroll.)” he added.
The court has yet to set a date for the next hearing on a preliminary injunction. – Rappler.com
Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.