By NITZ ARANCON,
MISAMIS Oriental Vice Gov. Jeremy Jonahmar Pelaez over the weekend called the stalls encroaching on the capitol’s sidewalks and roads illegal but said he was not keen on ordering these demolished out of respect for Gov. Yevgeny Vincente Emano who made his position known.
Pelaez was named as acting governor of the province by Emano who took a leave of absence effective Thursday. The governor is set to report back to work on Oct. 28.
He said his powers as acting governor has limits like he cannot suspend or appoint employees, and he was uncertain if he can order the capitol roads cleared vis-à-vis Emano’s contracts with sublessor Rhea Ritzie P. Nueva.
In 2013 and 2016, Nueva was granted lease contracts over a 1,029-square meter property across the Northern Mindanao Medical Center. The agreement allowed Nueva to develop the property and engage in subletting stalls at rates and terms she dictates. A Commission on Audit (COA) report shows that Nueva is also leasing the capitol property near the regional office of the National Bureau of Investigation.
Nueva’s stalls, which have encroached on sidewalks and roads, caught public attention after the capitol showed resistance when it was told to clean up based on the Duterte administration’s order for local governments to “reclaim” all public roads.
Pelaez said he would consult the provincial legal officer and other capitol department heads about whether or not he can order the sidewalks and road obstructions within the capitol compound demolished.
Pelaez said he has to ask other knowledgeable officials “kay basin mapaso unya ta kon ato nang ipa-demolish nga dili ta mangotana da-an.”
But he said even if he can, he feels reluctant knowing full well that Emano has announced that “iyang panalipdan ang mga kabtangan sa kapitoloyo.”
He said he is only serving as governor in an “acting capacity” and his work is “ministerial” in nature.
Pelaez said if he was governor, he would have no second thoughts in ridding the capitol roads and sidewalks of obstructions and follow President Duterte’s order.
“Wala na mag kinahanglan sa daghang debate kay ang mga stall palibot sa kapitolyo nga girentahan ug gi parentahan ni Nueva klarong illegal kay na-a sa mga sidewalk ug dalan nga gipa-clearing ni President Duterte,” Pelaez said.