ILOILO City's temporary closure of Jaro plaza to accommodate the Agro-Industrial and Cultural Fair and revelry on January 12 to February 2, 2010 received several comments from officials and residents.

City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas issued Executive Order 1 on January 12 to resolve, once and for all, the questions surrounding the closure or non-closure of the Jaro plaza in time for the fair and fiesta celebration.

Treñas admitted that for the last nine years, there was no problem regarding the management of the plaza activities during the agro-industrial fair.

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"Only now when the election is approaching that some people tend to question the authority given to Jaro ABC (Association of Barangay Captains) president Jonas Bellosillo that some members are opposing the closure of the plaza," the city mayor said.

Treñas' appointment on Bellosillo as Jaro agro-industrial fair executive director was questioned by Barangay Captain Lovejoy Hosenilla. Hosenilla said the plaza should be open during the fair.

In reply, Treñas said under the local government code: "The legal opinion of the city legal office citing the provisions of law is enough to close the Jaro plaza for the duration of the fair. Hosenilla and his group have no authority to open the plaza and I am willing and ready to face them in court using my legal profession as a lawyer if they question my authority."

Hosenilla and his camp reportedly wanted to open the Jaro plaza for the duration of the fair. City councilor Armand Parcon led in the discussion at the City Council last Wednesday to file a resolution for the opening of the plaza.

Meanwhile, City Councilor Perla Zulueta said there are two contradicting positions of the contending barangay captains that need to be resolved immediately by Treñas.

The City Mayor also said there is no need for the City Council to approve or enact a resolution for the Jaro plaza fair as the plaza clearly falls under the powers of the local chief executive.

The Jaro Fiesta celebration, in honor of patron saint Our Lady of Candles, is the biggest and grandest fiesta in the entire country.

International and national prominent personalities come to attend the celebration and there is a need to make early preparations to ensure the success of the celebration, Treñas said. (LCP)