ABOUT 70 workers of Bahay Bakasyunan sa Camiguin (BBC) have ended up losing their jobs after government authorities forcibly closed down the resort on Monday, January 20.
The closure was based on the decision of the Regional Trial Court Branch 28 which lifted the Writ of Preliminary Injunction (PWI) secured by BBC last May 2019.
Governor Jurdin Jesus Romualdo, who was then mayor of Mambajao town, issued a closure order against BBC last May 6, 2019, citing alleged violations of the Revised Ecological Waste Management Ordinance. The owners have secured WPI four days after the closure so it can continue its operations.
BBC’s legal counsel Homer Mabale has already filed an urgent motion for reconsideration asking the court to hold in abeyance the execution of the closure order pending resolution of the motion.
The motion also asked the court to set aside the court’s resolution dated January 17, and reinstate the injunction order.
Mabale said the closure order has no legal basis and is not supported with factual circumstances.
“The decision was released January 20, but the date of the decision was January 17. And until now we have not received the copy of the decision,” Mabale said.
The legal counsel also questioned the manner and procedure of the serving of the order which was carried out by police officers.
“It’s very irregular because that paper was not addressed to BBC, it was addressed to the mayor and who implemented are police officers who have no authority to implement court orders, no court sheriff, no municipal officers,” Mabale said.
Mabale said the closure was very abrupt and “brutal” as there was no time given to the management to prepare and settle the situation with the guests and employees.
“It is more of an assault because pag-abot gi-padlock diretso. The implementation was overkill,” Mabale said.
(It is more of an assault because upon arrival of the authorities they automatically locked it (resort premises). The implementation was overkill.)
BBC owner Suzette Good said workers and guests of BBC were shocked and surprised after police officers put up a barricade and padlocked the gate.
“We were like hostages inside,” Good said.
Good added they have to transfer their guests and have their employees went home. She also said there were bookings canceled.
“Ang among concern karon is ang 70 people nga nawad-an og trabaho. Wala siya (Romualdo) nakahuna-huna sa mga nawad-an og trabaho?,”Good said.
(Our concern now is the 70 people who lost their jobs. Didn’t he thought about those who will lose their jobs?)
The workers and around 500 people more from the different towns staged a prayer rally on Monday, January 27.
Good’s husband Albert Luther assured the workers that the management “will not desert them.”
BBC owners have maintained that they have not violated any laws.
Mrs. Good said the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) have conducted inspections and already cleared BBC of the allegations of violations last November 2019.
But, she said the Municipal Government did not allegedly honor DENR’s findings. She said the Municipal Government also refused to renew their business permit.
Mabale wrote a letter thrice, asking the Municipal Government to inspect BBC after DENR issued its findings, but he has yet to receive any response.
Mabale said other cases filed before the Office of the Ombudsman against the Romualdos have yet to be resolved.
The Good couple also set to file more cases against them and other personalities involved in the closure of BBC.
BBC owners and its legal counsel also maintained that the closure is “politically motivated.”
“He (Romualdo) picked this fight, I will finish it legally. I will not stop. I want to tell him that he picked a wrong guy to mess with,” Mr. Good said.