A TALISAY City councilor wants Mayor Johnny de los Reyes to clarify claims that he has allowed informal settlers to temporarily live within the City Hall compound.

During their regular session last Tuesday, Talisay City Councilor Edward Alesna said he received complaints from joggers and residents living nearby that some people have been living inside the City Hall compound and using its utilities for personal purposes.

One resident, Vicente Aripa, complained that one of the settlers has started raising livestock inside the City Hall compound.

Aripa, who lives just adjacent to the City Hall, told reporters that livestock such as chickens and ducks owned by those living in the City Hall compound often encroach on his property and feed on his crops.

‘Not true’

In a separate interview, de los Reyes denied the allegations, saying that it was only yesterday that he heard that there were illegal settlers living inside the compound.

But when reporters interviewed those living within the City Hall grounds, one resident admitted he and his family have been there for almost four months.

One settler, who works as a security guard for a Cebu City-based company, said he and his family are staying in a bunkhouse situated near the main gate of City Hall.

He admitted that he and his wife are from Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte, where de los Reyes hails from.

But the settler explained that the mayor only allowed them to live there while they are still looking for a permanent place to live in.

Some settlers, on the other hand, admitted that the livestock being raised there were owned by a job-order employee.

Because of this, the Talisay City Council plans to send a letter to de los Reyes to investigate on the matter.

De los Reyes told reporters yesterday that he plans to remove the illegal settlers from the bunkhouses after receiving reports on the matter. He also wants these bunkhouses to be demolished.

De los Reyes also said he didn’t order the construction of these bunkhouses, saying these were already there during the time of former city mayor (now City Councilor) Socrates Fernandez.