Probe: “We were the ones harassed”
May B. Miasco/ATO (The Freeman) - August 27, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Members of Cebu City’s demolition team who were accused of violently dispersing sidewalk vendors outside the Cebu South Bus Terminal said they have proof that shows they were the ones being harassed.

Wendell Cenas, acting chief of the Prevention Restoration, Order, Beautification and Enhancement, explained that they had informed the vendors that selling outside the CSBT is not allowed.

However, the vendors resisted and the two women who were later arrested even punched them. Cenas said they caught the whole incident on camera which will prove that they were the ones harassed. 

Rocelyn and Remafe Tanguilan, siblings, were arrested and detained at the Carbon Police Station after they resisted from the PROBE personnel.

One of the Tanguilans reportedly bit a PROBE operative while the other hit the side mirror of PROBE’s vehicle. The sisters posted bail yesterday and were required to submit a counter-affidavit within 10 days from their release.

The PROBE operative, who was bitten on his right arm, filed a complaint on August 26 against the two for disobedience to person in authority and slight physical injury.

During its session on Wednesday, the Cebu City Council appealed to the PROBE team to withdraw the complaint.

Cenas said they attempted to withdraw the case but the complaint was already submitted.

“The arrest of the two might be misinterpreted. We might be blamed of the incident,” he said, stressing that they were following the proper procedures in implementing the regulations of the city.

To settle the issue, Cenas said they it is now with the court to decide who was at fault.

Cenas said he wants to emphasize that they were simply enforcing the city’s policy that prohibits ambulant vendors operating along sidewalks as it poses risks to pedestrians that would opt to walk on the road pavements instead of the congested sidewalks.

“They resisted… Sakto ba ilang gibuhat? Legal ba ilang gibuhat?” Cenas said, adding that selling along Natalio Bacalso Avenue is prohibited as there are appropriate locations identified by Cebu City’s Garbo Asenso Sumbanan Alyansa on where vendors can display their goods.

City Ordinance 1186, approved by the City Council on February 18, 1985 during the administration of then mayor Ronald Duterte, repealed City Ordinance 1017 that allows and regulates sidewalk and ambulant vending in some areas of the city.

Part of C.O. 1186 explains that C.O. 1017 should be repealed because it resulted in congestion and clogging of streets that in turn affected the safety, health, and peace and order in the community.

It states that it is “illegal for any person to sell or vend in retail or otherwise, any goods, articles, merchandize or commodities or engage in any business or trade in any sidewalk or portion of streets within the city of Cebu.” (FREEMAN)

 

ACIRC BEAUTIFICATION AND ENHANCEMENT CARBON POLICE STATION CEBU CITY CEBU CITY COUNCIL CEBU SOUTH BUS TERMINAL CENAS CITY CITY COUNCIL CITY ORDINANCE GARBO ASENSO SUMBANAN ALYANSA
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