CEBU

Mayor, firm trade barbs over port project

Proof? “I’m good in keeping records,” says San Fernando Mayor Lakambini Reluya, as she shows documents to counter the charges filed by Ruben Feliciano against her and her husband Panadtaran Barangay Captain Ricardo. (SunStar Foto/Arni Aclao)

THE San Fernando Municipal Government has issued a cease-and-desist order (CDO) against First Sangat SF International Port Corp. president Ruben Feliciano after he refused to heed an executive order to stop his port project in Barangay Sangat.

Mayor Lakambini Reluya said she might also file charges against Feliciano over allegations of harassment, malicious filing of cases and libelous statements he made against her and her husband, Panadtaran Barangay Captain Ricardo Reluya.

But in a separate interview, Feliciano said he will not recognize Reluya’s CDO and will continue operating.

“Over my dead body,” he told reporters.

In a press conference yesterday, Reluya said she ordered Feliciano’s project stopped after they found discrepancies in the requirements he submitted, including an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) that was issued on Nov. 21, 2016 when the endorsements from the Municipal and Barangay Councils were issued in 2017.

Reluya said that Feliciano’s ECC is considered ineffective, as he failed to secure other requirements, such as area clearances from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA); permits and clearances from the Philippine Port Authority; and foreshore-lease agreement, among others.

The PRA, in a letter to Feliciano, reminded him that his area clearance from DENR is not a permit to conduct reclamation works in the area. But despite the PRA’s letter, Reluya said Feliciano is starting to reclaim the coastal area of Sangat.

Feliciano said that they’re only building a causeway.

He also insisted that he secured all documents needed for the project just before they started operating.

He challenged Reluya to file a case against him.

During the press conference, the mayor also said that the resolution issued by the Municipal Council granting the application for the port project was for Sangat Bay Development Corp., not First Sangat SF.

She said that Sangat Bay and First Sangat SF are two different entities, based on documents from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Reluya also denied receiving P5 million, or demanding P10 million from Feliciano before the barangay elections last May 14.

As to the criminal and administration charges he filed against the Reluya couple and a private respondent, Teodoro Reyes, for violating Republic Act 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, the mayor described these as “all lies and fabricated stories.”

“In your effort to pursue your project, you have resorted to destroying the people, maligning the public officials, fabricating stories, and worst, name-dropping Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte,” Reluya said.

Feliciano accused them of conspiring to stop the P12.5-billion project even though his firm has complied with requirements.

Meanwhile, the mayor’s husband, Panadtaran Barangay Captain Ricardo, said he will ask the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources to investigate the cutting of mangrove trees in the protected area by Feliciano’s firm.

Ricardo said he will also ask the police to help them close the site and pull out the firm’s equipment. (JKV, GMD)


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