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CD Muñez: Di, alisin n’yo na ako rito!

NAGA CITY September 10, 2016 (Bicol Standard)  After receiving an overflowing amount of praises and commendations due to the well-implemented security plan during the Traslacion Procession yesterday, City Police Director Sr. Supt. Muñez had blown his top when the sidewalk vendors issue was raised today, over a radio broadcast on DWNX.


Naga City OIC City Director PSSupt. Julius Muñez
Photo via Naga Smiles to the World

Muñez was confronted regarding the complaints that had arisen when some sidewalk vendors who have been permitted by the City Hall to occupy the sidewalks to sell their goods were rounded up by the members of the Task Force COMET, upon the direct order issued by him.

“How could that have happened when we were legally authorized by Mayor John Bongat to occupy the sidewalks to sell our goods? We have valid permits, and have paid our taxes and fees to the City Government, including the barangay," said one of the vendors who aired his gripes over the air lanes.

Interviewed by DWNX, Muñez, at first, appeared to be in high spirits, as he acknowledged to the radio audience that he had received a call from Mayor John Bongat, congratulating him for the peaceful Traslacion Procession.

He also said that he had received a commendation from OIC PNP Regional Director Chief Supt. Melvin Buenaflor.

Who ordered the clearing of the sidewalks?

“Ako, kasama ko ang task force COMET,” said Muñez.

“Pinangunahan ng isa kong opisyal. Ako ang nag-utos. Alam mo, hindi alam ng ating butihing mayor ang lahat na area na ‘yan,” he said.

He clarified, however, that an employee of the city is responsible to allowing sidewalk vendors to occupy the city streets.

“Alam mo maliit and daan natin. Sila ang magbigay linaw. Gusto mo ng security plan, tapos kayo rin ang nagpasikip ng masikip na daan,” he said.

“Ano ba talaga ang gusto n’yo? Kung gusto [n'yo], alisin na ako rito. Dapat, ang lahat na daan malinis. Ang trabaho ko linisin ito," Munoz clarified.

“Ang trabaho natin ay security. Kun may reklamo sila, kasohan nila ako. Basta sa akin, importante ang security ng mga tao,” he added further.

Meanwhile, he made it clear that the security plan must be strictly followed. “If anything happens, I will be the one responsible,” he emphasized.

Side of the vendors

A teary eyed vendor who said he has not yet eaten his breakfast was devastated when his commodities were confiscated. “I was granted a permit by the City Hall to occupy a specific portion of the sidewalk to sell his goods after payment of the taxes, fees and licenses to the City Treasurer’s Office” he said.

In fact, this permit allows him to do business here starting September 5 until September 18, 2017. He even showed his permit and other documents duly signed by the City Treasurer and Mayor Bongat himself.

The sidewalk vendors sought the assistance of the media to air their side since they could not understand why despite the fact that they are in possession of all legal documents, the task for COMET, still confiscated their goods.

A vendor named Roel Santillan, who is a resident of Minalabac, Camarines Sur, said that he has been a sidewalk vendor here for many years now. He claims that he has completely no idea why they raided their stalls the other night, with all their goods confiscated.

“I was personally assisted by the barangay officials of Sta Cruz, together with the representatives of the City Government, when they pinpointed the exact place where we can set up our small stalls, here. Why are they doing this to me?” he asks.

“As of now, we want to urgently recover the goods that were confiscated from us," Santillan added. “Dae kami inatubang kan taga PSO.”

Furthermore, the aggrieved vendors begged for the assistance of the city government for the immediate return of their commodities, which, they claim were mostly loaned from local businessmen, here.

“Inutangan mi lang po si mga paninda. Mayo ngani kaming pamahawan ngonian, ta an pig aasahan mi, si pwedeng kabaklan kan samong paninda," said one vendor pleading his case over the radio.

As these developed, the city government has not yet issued any explanation regarding the brewing controversy.

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