MANILA – The Regional Trial Court of Quezon City Branch 97 has found the Quezon City Government liable for gross negligence in the management and operation of the Payatas dumpsite. Acting Presiding Judge Marilou Runes-Tamang ordered respondents to pay victims’ next of kin temperate and moral damages of P50,000 to each deceased victim and exemplary damage of P10,000 per victim, totaling at least P6 million.
The Public Interest Law Center (PILC) represents families of the victims in the case.
“The decision, if read meticulously and with laws such as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act deeply associated with this tragedy, helps shape a template for local governments in averting and managing disasters,” the PILC said in a statement.
Respondents to the case include then-Mayor Ismael Mathay Jr., former Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Jejomar Binay, Tofemi Realty Corporation, Meteor Company Inc. and Ren Transport Corp.
The tragedy, considered as one of the worst man-made disasters in Philippine history, occurred nearly 20 years ago, on July 10, 2000. A mountain of garbage collapsed in barangay Lupang Pangako in Payatas dump, burying alive more than 300 residents.