By Sunday Post
The majority block of the Panglao Sangguniang Bayan, long at loggerheads with Mayor Benedicto Alcala, brought their animosity into a public spectacle, triggered by the demolition of illegal structures along the beach line of Alona , in barangay Tawala.
Breaking its silence as a result of Mayorâ€™s Alcalaâ€™s implementation of the 20-meter salvage zone in the beach area of Tawala, the majority members of the town SB said they saw differently the demolition order as carried out by the town executive.
In a press statement sent last night, the SB through V-Mayor Pedro Fuertes lamented the selective nature of the demolition.
In implementing the order of Gov. Erico Aumentado, the SB majority asked why Mayor Alcala singled out the structures owned by his political enemiesâ€”Kagawads Dennis Hora and Telesfore Mejos, all members of the municipal law making body.
Mayor Alcala used to control the majority block of the local SB until they broke their friendly ties in the process making them mortal enemiesâ€”until this time. Mayor Alcala was left with only one ally while the rest were allied with V-Mayor Fuertes.
In the same statement, the group wondered why only the cottages of Mejos and the family of Hora were demolished while the rest of those who are alleged to be in the same situation were left untouched.
Contacted for his reaction, Mayor Alcala brushed aside insinuation of selective implementation of the law.
He said as of last report, six illegal structures were already torn down and the rest will be in the next batch up for demolition.
The town mayor also told the Post last night that the Mejos structure was spared from the demolition because the municipal councilor begged off to do the job of demolishing his own establishment.
It turned out that Mejos was only suing for time in order to obtain a temporary restraining order from the regional trial court in the process tying up the hands of the mayor in implementing the setback requirement for beach front establishments. He did get a TRO.
The mayor also failed to demolish the structure of Paz Trotin of Alona Diverâ€™s Lodge after she also succeeded in getting a TRO.
Justifying the demolition order, Mayor Alcala said he only enforced a previous agreement he had with the municipal council when they were still in good terms.
Mayor Alcala said when they were still in friendly relation with the SB, the two parties agreed to implement an ordinance enacted by the same SB calling for a 25-meter salvage zone in the Panglao beachfront areas. The governorâ€™s executive order was only for 20 meters from the beach lineâ€”meaning, no structures were allowed in this restricted zone.
The wind blew in a different direction when Mayor Alcala and majority of the SB members had a falling out.
In criticising the mayor of alleged unilateral demolition of violators, the majority councilors also asked why only in Alona.
Citing that many are similarly situated in the same area, the majority lawmakers asked why in other barangays the same was not implemented.
They cited a case in point the restaurant of former mayor Doloriech Dumaluan which allegedly falls within the 20-meter salvage zone.
The councilors said not only that the former mayor closed a barangay road by erecting a gate thereon allowing only his guests, family and workers access to the detriment of the nearby fisher folks.
When asked on this question affecting the Dumaluan property, Mayor Alcala said the Bolod area where the alleged violation located is next in line of the demolition spree.
Another thing that concerned the majority legislators was the act of Mayor Alcala holding office in his residence.
Appraised of this question, Mayor Alcala balked â€œ so what if I am holding office at homeâ€.
The town mayor said he found no question in holding office in his residence saying that his house is located just a stone throw from the municipal building.
Saying it would be burdensome to their constituents, the lawmakers said it would be better for the mayor to take a sick leave or he better resign for the good of everybody including himself.