Caught in the act

3 March 2016, Thursday, 11:00a.m.

I was already late but seconds after leaving the house to go to work, I was so surprised to discover that there were men working on the proposed cell site owned by Dominer Pointe Inc./ BellTel Phils.  Instinctively, without anymore thinking, I admonished the people to stop because there’s a suspension order.  I know the faces of those people because they’re informal settlers living near the site.  Then I overheard the right-hand man of the foreman speaking to somebody on his cellphone, mentioning my name that I was admonishing the people to stop.  Then the man with the cellphone approached me, he said the foreman would like to speak with me.  Talking with the foreman, I reminded him about the mayor’s order.  The foreman said he got instruction from Engr. Mel that the operation shall continue so anyway I just told him I don’t know who this Mel is, there are so many different names I keep hearing, I said I’d just go to the Municipal of Rodriguez, Rizal to verify and to complain.  Leaving, I heard the men continue their work.

At the Engineering Department of the Municipal Hall of Rodriguez, Rizal, I was accommodated by Mr. Santos because the municipal engineer/building official, Engr. Alex Almario, wasn’t around.  I reported to Mr. Santos what I saw.  Mr. Santos in reply shared that he once overheard Engr. Almario while he was being interviewed by the investigators of the Commission on Human Rights that should the contractor violated again the cease and desist order, he (Engr. Almario) wouldn’t think twice of cancelling the contractor’s building permit.  So I asked, “If the building permit will be cancelled, does it mean the cell site would be permanently removed?”

He refused to answer.  He said it’s up to the municipal engineer.  He’s just getting instructions from the municipal engineer who was not around when I dropped by.  Since the municipal engineer was not around, I poured out my grievances to Mr. Santos.  I said thank you afterwards, that I hope he would understand my situation.

Then I went upstairs to go to the third floor supposedly to complain to Coun. Arman Leo Angeles.  Upon reaching the second floor, I quickly saw Coun. Lazarte and Coun. Angeles.  Instinctively, without anymore thinking, I approached the two and complained that there were men working on the site despite the order.  The two looked at each other.  Coun. Lazarte said somebody would just visit the site.  Coun. Angeles, on the other hand, said the one in-charge of that was the Engineering office. When I asked when can we get the result after submitting our position paper last 29 February 2016, he said it would be decided upon by the whole council, not just him.  He said they’re just waiting for the DOH’s paper.  I said my goodbye, thanked the two, then left.  Coun. Angeles was going downstairs also and aware that I was just behind him, he turned to me and asked if I went to the Engineering office already.  I answered, “Opo.”

Despite the Notice of Suspension with Cease and Desist Order, these men were found working on the proposed cell site.  Using my smartphone, I took a picture of the men before going to the Municipal Hall of Rodriguez, Rizal to complain.  These are the pictures that I submitted to the office of municipal engineer:

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Mar 3 2016a.jpg

When they noticed that I was taking a picture of them, some men who I caught standing and digging the soil sat down.

 

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