LA TRINIDAD Mayor Romeo Salda has brokered temporary relief from the Lamtang-Pico road issue.
Salda in a meeting with land owner Dwight Bello III agreed on a temporary status quo which allows vehicles to pass through without payments or barricades.
Bello said “after discussion with mayor this morning, we decided to make a status quo maybe we will just ask the court and ask them for their opinion if what I am doing is legal or not. Kasi kung isasarado ko naman maraming maapektuhan.”
Bello claims a portion of the road is registered under his name and vehicles intending to pass through must get a "privilege pass" from him and pay a corresponding fee.
Bello added “instead of closing it nag prevail upon me it will not be convenient to the residents. We will wait for the opinion of the court if what I am doing is legal or not in spite that portion is part of my titled property.”
However, La Trinidad Police Director Benson Macli-ing said no permits were given to the five men who set up check points in the area last week.
The men were arrested by Valley cops after setting up two steel barricades along the Pico-Lamtang Road October 3, charges of grave coercion, unjust vexation, and violation of anti-obstruction law were filed at the Provincial Prosecutors Office.
Statements from the five men arrested said they were employed by Bello who promised them a P500 salary.
“They have no legal basis to place checkpoint and barricade in the declared provincial and national road,” Macli-ing said.
Bello said his five employees should not have been arrested, "considering that was they were positioning themselves at that time on my private property. Meaning hind naman sa ibang lugar na hindi ko sakop because they are only protecting my legal right as they are tasked to do."
Previously, Bello through a text message to Valley Traffic Management Unit Police Inspector Ramon Casiwa said he will impose a "no pass, no entry" policy in the area.
“We have earlier advised that we are enforcing to the fullest of my legal right regarding the final joint survey result of the Longlong road portion which they said highway has encroached and occupied my property. With this development we are installing our security personnel effective 12 midnight today (October 7),” Bello stated.