The Supreme Court has finally reached a decision on Wednesday during its summer en banc session at SC compound in Baguio permanently prohibiting SM from further cutting trees on Luneta Hill in Baguio City.
“The Supreme Court in its en banc session today made permanent the temporary restraining order issued on March 24, 2015, prohibiting the cutting and bailing of the trees on Luneta Hill in Baguio City, where SM is expanding its shopping mall,” SC spokesperson Brian Hosaka said in a media briefing here.
Hosaka clarified the SC decision “is without prejudice to the filing of another application for and environmental compliance certificate in accordance with existing laws and regulation.”
It can be recalled that the Court of Appeals affirmed the December 3, 2012 decision of the Regional Trial Court of Baguio City giving the mall the go-signal to proceed with the cutting of trees.
The appellate court agreed with the RTC’s conclusion that cutting the trees would bring “no hazardous effect on the health of the people of Baguio” since this will be compensated by the green building that the mall planned to put up as well as the planting of more trees in some selected areas.