Council action sought on parking lot issue

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014


LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Legal wars await farmers and Mayor Edna Tabanda.

This as lawyer Richard Kilaan, representing farmers in the Valley, may seek for a preliminary injunction in a bid to buy time for them to return to the market parking area.

Kilaan said farmers were forced out of the market parking area Friday afternoon after a standoff with Mayor Edna Tabanda ensued.

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“Farmers were forced to vacate the parking area by order of the mayor despite a Municipal Council resolution extending the use of the area,” Kilaan pointed out.

Local police were with Tabanda Friday to facilitate clearing and sealing of the market parking area, leaving farmer groups with no choice but to cede.

The local council sided with farmers Tuesday last week, penning a resolution approving the extension of the use of the parking area for farmers until the Agi Pinoy center at kilometer 6 is finished. However, the action is subject to the terms and conditions of the chief executive.

Kilaan said orders of the local government is confusing with Tabanda issuing separate order, instructing all occupants of the public market parking area to vacate despite pronouncements she made to groups of leaving the actions to the issue to the local legislative branch.

Kilaan said during the Friday standoff, farmers were asking for more time to use the parking area pleading for Tabanda to conduct more consultations with groups.

Tabanda stood her ground saying the area is to be used by the local government for the upcoming strawberry festival, giving way for barangay booths to be constructed.

The area is also to be cleaned saying sanitation in the area has been sacrificed since the use of it by farmers groups ensued. Traffic, the lady executive stressed, has also been compounded in the area.

“We were asking for humanitarian consideration, pero ayaw ni Mayora,” Kilaan said.

Direct orders from Tabanda to clear the market parking area were relayed to local cops.

Valley top cop Byron Allatog said police have been directed to clear and seal the area.

The parking area is owned by the local government unit.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 14, 2014.

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