EMBATTLED officials and members of the now inoperational Nazareth Lawn Tennis Club (NLTC) in Cagayan de Oro can take a sigh of relief as they got some “positive words” from City Administrator Teddy Sabuga-a.
As Barangay Nazareth succeeded to padlock the disputed tennis courts on Sunday 11 p.m., July 7, Sabuga-a said it is illegal to demolish the sports facilities without authorization from the city government which is the owner of the land.
Sabuga-a advised the warring parties to “keep their cool” and “talk it out”, he added that Barangay Nazareth through its chairman Maximo Rodriguez III did not secure a permit from the Office of the Building Official (OBO) to enforce the impending demolition.
“Dili ka basta-basta mag demolish, they don’t have a permit from OBO. Ang open space diha, it was transferred to the city government, whatever the intentions of the barangay of the lot, they have to ask permission from the city, it’s the best thing to do. In the absence of the authority from the city, ayaw sa, magsabot kita,” he said.
Sabuga-a said the village chairman of Nazareth must be cautious with his actions.
“Sa kapitan sa Nazareth, dili maayo nga naay pwersahan, let’s dialogue, let’s talk kay dili mahimo nga magbuot-buot,” he added.
While the conflict still hasn’t reached a resolution, the city administrator directed the barangay to allow the tennis enthusiasts to play.
Rodriguez said Monday, that a legal panel with some lawyers from the barangay volunteered to file cases against the club president Charles Mejia, lawyer Tibs Palasan and John Elago for refusal to vacate, trespassing, threat, oral defamation and violation of the city ordinance against illegal bars.
The barangay last week implemented an executive order to take possession of the premises of the tennis courts as a property under the control and supervision of the barangay government.
Tension was high when officers of the club showed resistance when the barangay tried to close the area.
The barangay wants to build a new hall in the area or convert it into a multi-purpose building.
The tennis court officers said they will also file a legal action against the barangay officials.