Probe demolishes Sto. Niño vendors' stalls; 1 hurt

ONE was hurt while two other members of Sto. Niño Sidewalk Vendors Association (SNSVA) were collared by personnel of the Cebu City Government Prevention Restoration Order Beautification Enhancement (Probe) team Thursday, January 24.

The vendors allegedly refused to go back to the area where they were allowed to display their merchandise.

Probe head Raquel Arce said they asked the vendors to go back to their designated area so as not to cause traffic.

“Nakita nato nga they've been occupying one lane of the road since katong gadagan ang nobenaryo (novena masses.) Unya okay lang to kay sirado man ang Jakosalem (street.) Pero from Monday until now, open nato for traffic ang maong dan,” she said.

(We noticed them occupying one lane of the road since the novena masses. It was okay then because Jakosalem St. was closed, but since Monday, the area has been opened to traffic.)

Merlinda Batiller, 50, who has been a member of SNSVA for 33 years, said members of the Probe team confiscated their merchandise even before the five-minute leeway given to them was finished.

“Five minutes clear na daw nya dili baya madali kay daghan baya kaayong mga Sto. Niño (merchandise.) Pag-ingon nila og 5 minutes, diha-diha dayon, ang iyang mga Probe ditso dayon og hakop sa among tinda,” she said.

(They said we have to clear the area in five minutes, but we cannot bring all our merchandise in five minutes because there were so many. They immediately confiscated our products.)

Manny Amora, 29, was reportedly rushed to a hospital, as he was injured in a fight with a member of the Probe team.

“Ang nahospital akong manghod. Ang ba-ba niya nagkadugo-dugo na,” said Amora's sister, Joy, 55 years old.

(My brother was hospitalized. His mouth was bloodied in a fight.)

Joy and her sister, Julieta Gadiane, 58, were collared by the Probe team after the incident and were turned over to Cebu City Police Station 3 (Waterfront Police Station.)

Arce said that before the demolition, they already warned the vendors to go back to their designated area.

“Ato sila gi-warningan ganina via Public Address System mga 9:20 (in the morning) nga balik na sila sa ilang usual nga position, which is on top of the gutter, on top of the side walk. Nahitabo ang public address mga 9:20, after that I proceeded sa akong destination then after ni lapse ang 45 minutes, nibalik ko sa area but still walay progress,” said Arce.

Meanwhile, Joy said they are only asking for an extension until January 25.

“Ang amo lang unta maka-extension mi gamay para unta maka-display mi sa among tinda. Mudako-dako sd among halin kay Hubo pa baya ugma,” she said.

(What we are asking is an extension, so we can still get additional income since tomorrow is Hubo.)

Arce said they will not file a class suit of disobedience against the vendors, but they will file a direct assault case against Manny Amora.

Joy and Julieta Gadiane were then released from custody of the Police Station 3 after an arrangement with Arce was made. (Wenilyn Sabalo, USJ-R Intern)


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