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Province to sue CITOM; Tom says, go ahead

CEBU, Philippines - Capitol officials yesterday threatened to file theft charges against the Cebu City Traffic Operations Management (CITOM) for towing the province-owned trailer that was parked at a Capitol-owned lot near Fuente Osmeña.

But Mayor Tomas R. Osmeña has challenged Governor Gwendolyn Garcia to pursue her plan to sue the CITOM, because the city’s traffic enforcement arm will not be afraid to face them in court and prove that what they did was right.

Rory Jon Sepulveda, the governor’s spokesman, said the towing of the trailer was illegal because it was not parked within the city roads, but within a province-owned lot.

Sepulveda said the trailer was used to block any illegal occupants of the province-owned lot where the old Larsian barbecue stalls were situated.

The trailer has been there since last year.

“Pero nahibulong nalang kita nga sa kadugay na sa panahon nga kini gipadara diha sa luna nga iya sa probinsya, karon ra man kini gikuha sa Citom.” Sepulveda said.

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He added that he strongly believes that somebody ordered the traffic enforcers to tow the trailer.

Sepulveda believes that Citom towed the trailer in retaliation to the provincial government, whose officials questioned the use of Cebu City-owned Kaohsiung buses that were apprehended by policemen in Barili town two weeks ago reportedly upon the order of the governor, because these were not registered.

But CITOM executive officer Arnel Tancinco claimed that his personnel have decided to tow the trailer because it was parked “along Don Mariano Cui Street” in front of a No Stopping sign.

He further said another violation is that the trailer does not have plate numbers attached to its body. Under the law, trailers should be also registered similar to motor vehicles.

The trailer is presently kept at the CITOM’s impounding area and if the Capitol officials would wish to claim it back, Tancinco said they should present proof of ownership and to first pay the towing fee, and fines from the Land Transportation Office (LTO) if they could present the unexpired registration of the trailer.

The province is not exempted from city rules regardless of whether it owns the lot where the trailer truck was parked and towed by CITOM.

   “Everyone gets towed including city hall vehicles. Why, is the province an exemption? I want to make it clear, they’re not exempted,” said outgoing Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña.

Osmeña said that though the province owns the lot, it still falls under the jurisdiction of the city government, therefore, it is subject to all rules and ordinances being implemented in the city.

“There are rules and there are rules. The province-owned lots here do not fall under provincial jurisdiction so it should follow Cebu City rules. You’re not allowed to park here then you should be towed,” Osmeña said.

“I don’t care what they think. Is it there in the local government code that the city government must consider what the province thinks before we can do anything? They’re getting big headed you know,” Osmeña said.

He clarified however that he did not order the towing of the province-owned vehicle. “Wala’y order, I don’t have time for all those things. And just think how many people get traffic violations everyday, syaro,” he said. — With Rene Borromeo/NLQ   (FREEMAN NEWS)


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