Supreme Court stops SM Baguio from cutting more trees

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The mall is cutting more trees as part of its Sky Park project.

“The Supreme Court on Tuesday, March 24, stopped the further cutting and earth-balling of trees on Luneta Hill in Baguio, which will pave the way for the expansion of SM City Sky Park project in the city,” reports Brian Maglungsod on

SC spokesperson, Atty. Theodore Te, said that “the court en banc had issued a temporary restraining order stopping the cutting and balling of more than 180 pine and alnus trees for the expansion of SM Baguio, which was earlier allowed by the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).”

Te said that the TRO is “effective immediately until further notice by the court.”

The report pointed out that “the SC also directed the DENR to comment on the petition filed by the Cordillera Global Network (CGN) seeking to stop the cutting and balling of trees within a non-extendible period 10 days from receipt of notice.”

The report further explained that “CGN along with other environmental groups and residents of Baguio filed the petition before the high court after the group lost in its legal battle before the Baguio City Regional Trial Court and the Court of Appeals.”

The CA issued an order last Dec 12 to affirm a Dec 3, 2012 RTC ruling allowing the mall to proceed with the tree cutting. As such, it was reported on Jan 2015 that “60 trees were cut on Luneta Hill, on top of Session Road where the entire SM complex stands on a land area of 80,000 square meters.”

The report noted: “Since 2011, Baguio residents have been opposing the mall’s plan to cut the trees inside the complex to give way to the construction of a parking space. The mall wants  to build a ‘sky park’ in the area that would be filled with plants.”

Photo: Elmer B. Domingo (WikiCommons)

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