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Johannessburg Packing Corporation vs CA

216 SCRA 445

Facts: Petitioner Johannesburg Packing Corporation (JPC) is the winning bidder to the Paragon Paper Mills located in Bataan. The company begin utilizing the mill but owes the balance of 100 millions pesos payable to the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).After many years and multiple demand letters, petitioner JPC is unable to pay the balance from the auction to the DBP and to the Asset Privatization Trust (APT) which oversees the transaction.

The DBP  files a complaint to the regional trial court of Bataan seeking to recover the property or the balance owed from JPC. The Bataan RTC however issue a temporary restraining order preventing the DBP and APT to recover the paper mill. The restraining order is extended as the court issues a status quo order extending the TRO beyond its 20-day lifespan. The RTC also order for JPC and DBP to renegotiate the terms of payment.

After petitioning the Court of Appeals (CA), the status quo order is lifted and allow the DBP and APT to recover the paper mill judicially. Hence, this petition to reinstate the TRO from the JPC.

Issue: W/N the TRO should be reinstated. .

Held: No, the petition is devoid of merit. A TRO by its nature a temporary instrument. The trial court erred in its decision to retain the TRO by cleverly using the phrase status quo order. Furthermore, the CA did not err that the trial court did not have the power to determine whether or not the breach of contract was substantive or slight. By entertaining JPC’s dilatory tactics the court prevented the government from acquiring the badly-needed funds justly owed and badly needed.

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