IT TOOK a tofu (taho) vendor to expose glitches in the operations of the Public Order and Safety Division (POSD).
Vendor Benedick Seño with POSD head Policarpio Cambod faced the Baguio City Council during last Monday’s session to shed light on some issues.
Councilor Edgar Avila said the council will now legislate prescribed rules of engagement for POSD. Included in the ordinance will be the legal basis for its creation as an office, qualifications and standards for its personnel.
Avila said the POSD rules and the legality of the group will now be set into place as guidelines for its operations as well as its creation have lapses, having no Administrative Orders nor ordinances approved backing its existence.
During the inquiry, Seño stood by his statements he was within areas covered by his permit to sell but at the same time admitting he has been apprehended in the past by the POSD for selling at areas not prescribed by his permit.
Seño recounted, the life of roaming vendors who have to contend with the POSD, further exposing lapses in operations of the group.
POSD personnel who came with Cambod stood by their claims during the altercation saying no violence was directed to Seño but was a result when he did not want to quietly give up his wares.
The council showed the video of the incident during the inquiry.
On February 2, Seño was selling taho along the area of the Botanical Garden at Leonard Wood Road, Baguio City when four personnel (one lady and three men) of the POSD came and accosted him.
Seño then told the POSD personnel he holds a permit to sell in the area and showed it to them. Upon saying this, they backed off and proceeded to return to their service vehicle parked across the street alongside Botanical Garden.
Seño also decided to leave and flagged down a taxi. Before he rode the taxi he placed his taho containers at the luggage area of the taxi and was already seated at the front seat when the POSD, the same personnel that accosted him a few minutes earlier, suddenly opened the rear door of the taxi and started to grab his containers.
Alarmed by what he saw, Seño alighted from the taxi and immediately went to the back side of the vehicle to prevent the POSD from taking his containers but the POSD still insisted on confiscating the said containers despite his plea for consideration.
Seño said they scrambled over to the extent that the contents were spilled on the sidewalk, the POSD was able to take hold of one of his containers and took it to their vehicle. They then told Mr. Seño to claim it at their office at their office at Baguio City Hall.
Fellow vendors came with Seño to attest to his testimony.
The City Legal Office is conducting an investigation on the matter while the city council has tasked the committee on peace and order to take charge of the issue aiming to set legislation for the POSD as well vendors.