Rama insists that church’s fence moved by 5 meters

Jean Marvette A. Demecillo/RHM (The Freeman) - February 3, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Leaders of the Church of Latter Day Saints along Gorordo Avenue in Barangay Lahug, Cebu City are opposing City Hall’s request that they set back their fence from the road by five to seven meters.

In a press conference yesterday, suspended Mayor Michael Rama said he spoke with lawyer Victor Taylor of the Church of Latter Day Saints in Manila last week and was told of their sentiment.

“Mao na ang nakuha didto namo sa Mormons. If they can stick it out that the walls will stay because it’s sacred, that’s their stand. But later sa among discussion, he (Taylor) mentioned if can there be a reconfiguration? Mao tong giingon sa pikas nga side,” Rama said.

He said he will continue to request and appeal to the leaders of the church to grant the city’s request.

He said he will send a communication jointly made with acting mayor Edgardo Labella to ask leaders of the Mormon Temple to come to Cebu City for a walkthrough.

The city government has identified 15 structures that have encroached on Gorordo Avenue in Lahug, and one of them is the Mormon Temple.

As of yesterday, at least 12 structures have already voluntarily removed their illegal structures.

“I told them…once we will clear (of debris) the whole (stretch) gikan sa kadtong nag-voluntary nga giguba, padung sa Salinas Drive sa JY Square, ang makita nimo, wala gyuy lain, ang inyo gyong koral nga nilabaw. Ingon man sila nga sacred ilang koral,” Rama said.

“Ingon ko, ato unyang timbangon unya kun unsay mas sacred, ang inconvenience tungod sa koral or ang gikinahanglan aron maatiman ug maatubang ang tanan,” he added.

Rama said he will ask for a walkthrough with the leaders of the Church of Latter Day Saints so that they could understand the project, which is to provide a bigger sidewalk for people.

“Whether they will be here or not, I already delivered a message that that koral of yours definitely is not aligned with the widening,” he said.

Rama said he will also check with the Department of the Public Works and Highways as to the property line of the Mormon Temple.

He said he told Taylor that the city government does not want to file complaints before the court just to force them to heed the request.

“If we can just discuss kay iyang gihunahuna, iyang ingon nga can we solve the problem on the other side (of the compound).  Ingon ko, ‘There is no equal distribution of the so called widening.’ Adto lang kuno ipakuha sa pikas side. (He was) talking about the provincial lot. Pero kun unsaon pa’g tan-aw nimo, kun moagi ka didto, makita nimo ang koral,” Rama said.

After their meeting in Manila, Rama said he texted Taylor “wishing you that you can come down to Cebu and perhaps we can discuss a workable solution serving everybody’s interest, including your concern.”

As of yesterday, however, no reply yet was sent to Rama, who guessed that Taylor must have gone abroad yet. — (FREEMAN)

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