The provincial government of Misamis Oriental maintained that the roads within the provincial Capitol should not be subject to clearing as these are exempted from the order of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Florito “Carlo” Dugaduga, provincial information officer, said the roads within the capitol premises are not covered by a recent presidential proclamation and a Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) directive, as these are not the common roads referred to in the order.
“These [Capitol] roads are exempted from that order,” he said, adding that it is even the prerogative of the provincial government to close them if it wishes to as it has jurisdiction over these streets.
He said there’s no instruction yet from Gov. Yevgeny Vincente Emano to conduct road-clearing operation inside the capitol compound, adding that if the DILG or the city government will push through with the demolition, they must coordinate with the governor’s office first.
“If the DILG will invoke the President’s order, then we will also reply and clarify our side on the status and nature of the property,” Dugaduga said.
Meanwhile, a city government official has appealed to the governor to conduct their own removal of obstructions within the capitol premises instead.
“We are not contesting the ownership of the property or structures inside the Capitol compound. But the [Department of the Interior and Local Government] directive is very clear,” said Antonio Resma, spokesperson of the composite team tasked by Mayor Oscar Moreno with clearing the city’s roads from illegally built structures, said in a statement Saturday.
He said the order came from Duterte himself directing LGU officials, through the DILG, to carry out the road-clearing operation a few weeks ago.
“It is addressed to all local chief executives, meaning governors, mayors, and barangay chairpersons. That’s why we are asking the province, out of respect, to voluntarily clear the area within their compound,” Resma said.
He maintained that the Capitol compound is located within the city, thus national and local city ordinances would still apply.
Also included in the DILG memorandum is for LGUs to revisit and revoke ordinances and permits issued to private and business establishments which have encroached or obstruct roads and sidewalks.
The issue stemmed from Resma’s earlier remarks that his team would be forced to do the demolition of illegal structures within the Capitol premises if the provincial government won’t comply with Duterte’s order.
He said the clearing operation is based on the President’s memorandum 121-2019 directing LGUs to retake public roads.
In reaction, Emano has said he will resort to legal action should the city government-created team pursue with its plan to demolish structures that have encroached public roads inside the Capitol.
Resma, however, clarified that it was not their intent to threaten Emano or the provincial government.
He said he was just reacting to a query from a reporter who brought to his attention as feedback from concerned citizens regarding the structures along the roads inside the Capitol compound.
At present, food vendors have occupied portions of the roads within the Capitol promises.
“We are both LGUs instructed by the President to reclaim the roads. For me, it would be better for Capitol to remove the structures that might have encroached on the roads there,” Resma said. (PNA)