Lopez nabbed for blocking road to city landfill

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014


FOUR days after he publicly expressed his family’s opposition to the Bacolod City’s use of the sanitary landfill in Barangay Estefania, Roy Lopez, spokesman of Dynasty Agri-Aqua Corp., blocked the road leading to the dumpsite in Barangay Felisa Monday morning.

The blockage caused a five-hour delay in the operations of the city’s private garbage hauler.

Roy is a son of Ester Lopez, owner of the dumpsite/sanitary landfill property purchased by the City Government.

The family opposed the utilization of the sanitary landfill due to the city’s non-payment of its balance of P3.8 million out of the P23.8-million lot price.

Their claim is pending in court as Bacolod City Mayor Monico Puentevella refuses to pay the amount, since the Commission on Audit supposedly declared the purchase overpriced by P5 million.

At around 9 a.m. Monday, Roy Lopez parked his pick-up truck beside a farm tractor on the road leading to the sanitary landfill thereby preventing the entry of the garbage trucks of Enviroking Corp. to the waste disposal facility.

The two dump trucks tried to tow the farm tractor but Lopez again positioned his vehicle across the road. Personnel of the Traffic Management Unit and City Legal Office (CLO) Composite Enforcement Team also attempted to manually move the pick-up, but Lopez resisted and placed himself in the middle of the road.

At around 11:30 a.m., Senior Superintendent Larry Decena, officer-in-charge of Bacolod City Police Office, arrived upon orders from Mayor Monico Puentevella, who instructed him to ensure the delivery of garbage to the dumpsite by enforcing the full force of the law.

Decena tried to convince Lopez to cease from blocking the road, however, the latter stood his ground. By 2 p.m., the police chief ordered his arrest.

Reynaldo “Butch” Ebreo, head of Bacolod Traffic Authority Office (BTAO), assisted Decena and his men in handcuffing Lopez, who was then brought to Police Station 10.

We are only doing our job of enforcing the law for the benefit of the public, Decena said.

Reacting to his arrest, Lopez said, “Is there no more due process of law? Where is your warrant of arrest? This is a human rights violation.”

While the police car was about to leave the area, another pick-up owned by Nonoy Lopez, brother of Roy, blocked the road.

Decena and Lawyer Cesar Beloria of the CLO talked to the older Lopez to let the police car pass and let all their questions be resolved at Police Station 10.

Lawyer Jose Maria Lopez, another brother of Roy, said that if his brother was handcuffed without a stated reason, then it is a clear that his rights were violated.

“They claimed it was just an invitation. What happened was already an arrest without stating first what violation my brother committed?” he said.

Senior Inspector Ruel Culanag, Police Station 10 chief, said Lopez was arrested for grave coercion, resistance and disobedience to an agent in an authority, and obstruction.

Culanag said Lopez was temporarily detained after he was brought to the station and was released at about 5:15 p.m. as advised by Ebreo, who was the complainant.

Decena said he will assign personnel to secure the dump site area and to ensure the continuous operation of the garbage hauler.

Moreover, Roy Lopez said he came to Barangay Felisa as ordered by his brother who instructed him to barricade the area going to the dumpsite.

The Lopezes questioned the City Government for building a new road inside their property and for allowing the dump trucks to enter the area without paying toll fees.

Lopez claimed that regarding the toll fee, they already have an agreement with Enviroking Corp., however, the City Government is also asking toll fee from the garbage hauler.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 18, 2014.

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