Bar owner sues mayor-A A +A
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Cranberry owner Mignonette Balao has filed a complaint against Mayor Edna Tabanda in the halls of the Provincial Board (PB).
Balao, in her formal complaint, cried foul over the confiscation of her establishment's business permit asking province officials to file a directive to Tabanda to allow her establishment to operate again.
Balao recounted in her complaint how Tabanda confiscated the permit of Cranberry's bakery, coffee shop and bar and restaurant on August 13.
"The honorable Tabanda entered the said establishment and asked the business license be given to her."
Balao further stated, "[Tabanda] then took possession of the business license and told the employee to tell her employer to claim the business permit at the Mayor’s office."
The complaint was elevated by Balao to the provincial level in a bid to have a more formal, neutral ground to discuss the issue on the limiting of bar operations on a "liberal and democratic procedure."
It was earlier reported the mayor personally confiscated the business permit of the establishment in a bid to enforce the 8 p.m. cut off in serving liquor.
The mayor was escorted by Valley cops who attested the business owner did not heed the warning forcing the chief executive to confiscate its permit.
Balao in her complaint admitted she did not follow the ordinance on serving liquor because she knew "she was covered by exemption of the ordinance since she was accredited by the DOT; hence, she can operate beyond the liquor ban hours."
Balao also stated she has attended the public hearings on the implementation of the ordinance but described the meeting as "the bar operators were just there to listen to the castigation of the mayor on the evil effects of alcohol when a person drinks as she calls it and that she perceived to be caused by the bar and drinking business operations in the Valley and limiting their hour of operation to her is the remedy."
Police data show that most of physical injury crimes in the province's capital are due to liquor, induced by too much drinking forcing police to put more men out to literally search for drunks at night in the intensification of the two police monitoring teams.
In totality, Balao said the statements of Tabanda during the public hearing "points it out that the bar operations in the Valley causes immortality since when they sell the liquor to a person, they go home and mishandle their wives, rape their children, go to some other place and commit undesirable acts."
Balao said the side of operators were not actually heard nor was an open forum conducted.
There are 500 bars in the Valley and 355 stores dispensing liquor products, which are crying foul over the now, strict implementation of the 8 p.m. liquor ban.
Balao holds firm on her stand that by having the Department of Tourism accreditation, her establishment can go beyond the liquor ban imposed by the Valley.
She said the business is her main source of livelihood and added business owners who have likewise been confiscated permits are in the same plight. "We are also human beings who only want to earn a living for our respective families."
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on September 18, 2013.