City Hall expects to serve a closure order today against Kuerks after 3-day notice

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013


CEBU City Hall expects to serve today a closure order on Kuerks Resto-bar on Pelaez St. in Barangay Kamagayan, City Attorney Jerome Castillo revealed yesterday.

The establishment was given a 72-hour notice last Friday by the City Treasurer’s Office (CTO).

But as of yesterday afternoon, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama has yet to sign the closure order against Kuerks. The mayor announced earlier, though, that he would agree with the City Legal Office's recommendations on the issue.

Kuerks Resto-bar became controversial after City Councilor Gerardo Carillo was accused of hitting 16-year-old Jan Niño Pogoy with a rock at dawn on July 7. The councilor has denied the allegation, saying he was merely trying to pacify two groups of squabbling youngsters outside Kuerks, where he was “in a meeting” with Duljo Fatima Barangay Captain Elmer Abella.

Process

Castillo said that even if no one from Kuerks received the letter from the CTO, the owner of the establishment is still liable.

“It is incumbent upon them to know the content. Receiving the notice means they are availing of due process. Even if they refused (to accept it), they are (still) aware there is a notice,” said Castillo.

The CTO ordered Kuerks to show cause why it should not be closed.

Kuerks allegedly failed to pay business taxes and operated without a mayor’s permit.

Rama also ordered an investigation on whether the establishment served liquor to minors.

Castillo said City Hall is not only running after Kuerks.

He said a notice was also issued against Knock Box, a neighboring bar. He said neighboring establishments, particularly hotels, have complained against Kuerks and Knock Box for being noisy.

Post

Cebu City has an anti-noise ordinance.

He said other City lawyers recommended that the notice be sent by mail and posted at the Kuerks premises.

This is to show that due process has been amply observed but it would not extend the 72-hour deadline, said Castillo.

Department of Social Welfare Services Chief Ester Concha, on the other hand, pointed out that there is a City ordinance, which prohibits minors from patronizing bars that serve alcoholic drinks.

Rama revived a joint inspection team to check on bars that admit and serve liquor to minors.

Msgr. Achilles Dakay of the liquor licensing commission urged departments of the City Government to coordinate with each other. He said the Office of the Building Official and the CTO should, for instance, ask the commission before issuing a building permit and a liquor license to an establishment.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 16, 2013.

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