Cell site and the local government of Rodriguez, Rizal

Despite obvious evidences, petition letters, and position paper that we presented in our fight against the proposed Dominer Pointe Inc./BellTel Phils. cell site in Block 11 Lot 1 Mt. Samat St., Amityville Subdivision, Bgy. San Jose, Rodriguez, Rizal, and after 53 days of temporary cease and desist order issued by mayor Cecilio Hernandez, today (Saturday) just when only 2 and a half working days are remaining before the Holy Week, at around 3:50 in the afternoon, I received a 3-page document (filled with misspelled names) from the local government of Rodriguez, Rizal signed by Atty. Pascual R. De Guzman recommending “that the order suspending the construction of cell site be LIFTED and infom Dominier Point Inc. to resume construction activities.”

Below is a copy of the said document:

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This is the position paper to remove the Dominer Pointe Inc./BellTel Phils. cell site that I submitted on 29 February 2016, 3 working days after the public hearing, to the office of Coun. Arman Leo Angeles, chairman of Committee on Public Utility:

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Now, let’s review:

5 December 2015- Woke up one morning to see an excavation happening near our house.  When I approached one of the construction workers, a foreman named Randy Francisco told me that a cell site will be installed on the lot.  Immediately, I filed a complaint at the barangay hall/office against the cell site and against the officials of Amityville Homeowners Association.  This was then followed by face-to-face meetings on the 12th, 13th, and 20th of December 2015 with Mr. Edilberto “Butch” Braganza, president of Amityville Homeowners Association (AHA); Mr. Louie Rosario, director of AHA; and Mr. Chris Rosario, ex-officer of AHA.  When I asked them about the legality of the proposed cell site, if it has clearances and permit, if it has approval from the homeowners, they could not show me anything.  And it took them sometime to come up with the documents I requested but incomplete.

21 December 2015 (Monday)– Directly complained to Engr. Alexander Almario, municipal engineer/building official of Rodriguez, Rizal, about the proposed cell site in our subdivision and near our house.  I complained that it does not have consent from us and we knew nothing about it.  We weren’t informed. And that we are deeply concerned about our health because a cell site produces radiation.  He showed me a folder that the contractor submitted complete requirements.  I checked and was looking for an ECC and there was none.  He advised me to submit a petition letter signed by homeowners and residents and attach studies that would support my claim.  He also advised me to introduce myself as coming from the Commission on Human Rights so that our petition letter would be noticed.

22 December 2015 (Tuesday)- Submitted a petition letter signed by 20 homeowners and residents against the proposed cell site to the Office of the Mayor.

28 December 2015 (Monday)– Followed up with the Office of the Mayor our petition letter against the Dominer Pointe Inc./BellTel Phils. cell site.  The secretary informed me and my neighbor, Mr. Doyle Camba, that the letter was still to be read by the mayor.  So I requested for an appointment and it was set on 6 January 2016.

6 January 2016 (Wednesday)– After almost 3 hours of waiting, me and my neighbor met with the mayor.  Councilor Roger Frias was there, too.  We were told that our concern will be part of the agenda on Monday, 11 January.

15 January 2016 (Friday)- I received this notice of council hearing regarding our complaint.

Council Hearing

19 January 2016 (Tuesday)– A council hearing took place.  Also, I submitted our second petition letter of additional signatures signed by 50 homeowners and residents of Amityville Subdivision.  Among the councilors who were invited and are part of the Committee on Public Utility, only the chairman, Coun. Arman Leo Angeles attended and at the same time presided over the meeting. Not present were Coun. Rommel Ayuson and Coun. Glenn Evangelista. Coun. Angeles said they’re busy.

Other attendees: Robert Bondad Jr., DPI BellTel representative; Edilberto “Butch” Braganza and Louie Rosario, president and director respectively of Amityville Homeowners Association (AHA); Engr. Josefino Amado of MPDC; and Doyle Camba, homeowner and whose house is just right in front of the proposed cell site.

25 January 2016 (Monday)– I received this temporary Notice of Suspension with Cease and Desist Order issued by the mayor on the proposed cell site that we complained about.

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4 February 2016 (Thursday)– Despite the Notice of Suspension with Cease and Desist Order issued by the mayor of Rodriguez (formerly Montalban), Rizal, the contractor Dominer Pointe Inc./BellTel Phils. still delivered materials for the cellular tower around noontime while I was away and at work.  My neighbor, Mang Fernando Camba, texted me the bad news.  I shooed them (the truck and the men) away in the wee hours of the morning of 4 February but returned at noontime.

5 February 2016 (Friday)– Went to the office of Dominer Pointe Inc. in Prestige Tower in Ortigas Center to directly complain about their wrongdoing (I drafted a formal complaint letter) only to find out that the address that they specified in their building permit does not have a tenant.  It’s vacant. Unoccupied. And padlocked.  And the telephone numbers are not theirs, too.  It’s from another building.

18 February 2016 (Thursday)- I received this notice of the public hearing on our complaint against the Dominer Pointe Inc./BellTel Phils. cell site.

public hearing

23 February 2016 (Tuesday)- The public hearing took place.  We were ten homeowners who attended (all of my companions are retired, except my brother and I).

On the other side: Dominer Pointe Inc.’s Robert Bondad Jr., BACDDC’s Nathaniel Cadiao, and another guy. Also, officials of Amityville Homeowners Association represented by Edilberto “Butch” Braganza, president; Louie Rosario, director; Nick Braganza, director; and Jonathan Agravante, informal settler.

Members of the panel: Councilor Arman Leo Angeles, Coun. Mario Roderick Lazarte, and Atty. De Guzman (legal counsel under Office of the Mayor). Coun. Rommel Ayuson’s name was on the table but he did not join us in the hearing. But before the hearing I saw Coun. Ayuson going inside the Vice Mayor’s office just beside the Sangguniang Bayan Session Hall. We were eyeball to eyeball. He was the first to look away. (He doesn’t know me, by the way.)

Guests: Ms. Agnette Peralta, Director at the Bureau of Health Devices and Technology, Department of Health (she was accompanied by four student physicists). And a representative from the Provincial Government of Rizal (Assessor’s Office).

The hearing became violent towards the end because one of my neighbors, a lawyer/retired, had a heated argument with Atty. De Guzman, who was introduced to us as a lawyer from the mayor’s office and during the hearing was upfront in defending the other side.  Coun. Angeles then demanded from us to submit a position paper.

29 February 2016 (Monday)- I submitted my position paper to the office of Coun. Arman Leo Angeles, chairman of the Committee on Public Utility, to stop the Dominer Pointe Inc./BellTel Phils. cell site construction in Mt. Samat St., Amityville Subdivision, Bgy. San Jose, Rodriguez, Rizal.

3 March 2016 (Thursday)– Another violation.  Despite the cease and desist order, I found men working on the proposed cell site.  They immediately got so self-conscious when they noticed I was taking pictures of them, caught in the act.  One of the workers (not in the picture) handed to me a cellphone and the foreman, Randy Francisco, was on the line.  He said there was an order that the construction will continue.  To verify, I immediately went to the municipal hall, at the engineering office and complained to Mr. Santos (the building official was not around).  I was told that they would check the place.  In the next few days, a violation was committed again.  There were men working.  I saw Mr. Santos and was contacting the contractor because they knew (the engineering department) nothing of an order to continue the construction.

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19 March 2016 (Saturday)- I received the document signed by Atty. De Guzman recommending the continuation of cell site construction but it does not have attachments that would support all its claims.  So receiving the said document, before I signed my name, I wrote this:  “Show to us that this was approved by the homeowners.  Show to us the clearances and permits!”

Note: Have sent letters regarding our complaint/concern against the cell site to the Commission on Human Rights through Commissioner Roberto Eugenio T. Cadiz last 21 January (he endorsed it to our NCR office where an initial investigation was already conducted), to the Department of Health last 25 January (Dir. Agnette Peralta of DOH appeared during the 23 February 2016 public hearing but she favored the other side), and Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board last 25 January (will send a follow-up letter or an update to our first letter), and to the Office of the Governor last 2 February  (a representative from the Assessor’s office attended the 23 February 2016 public hearing, will send a follow-up letter or an update to our first letter) and I was making a series of follow-ups.  Will be making an appeal with the Office of the Mayor on Monday since I am the Attorney-in-Fact.

 

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ERRATUM: In the first paragraph of this post, I implied based on the document I received which was signed by Atty. De Guzman informing us about his recommendation for the continuation of the cell site construction as equivalent to an order, to a final decision which almost made me weak.  Because before I received the document, on Friday afternoon (18 March) , I received a text from an unknown number advising me that the result on the cell site has arrived based on the position papers that were submitted. I confirmed if she’s Marie, secretary of Coun. Angeles, and asked if I need to pick it up.  When the number replied, it did not correct me if he/she is another person but only told me that a messenger will deliver the document to our house.  That is why when I finally received on a Saturday afternoon the “result,” as relayed to me by an unknown number, I was really dumbfounded for it favors the contractor.  On Sunday, I consulted a lawyer.  He corrected me that what I was given was just a position paper.  It was quite a relief! That perfectly explains why the texts are not written in a letterhead, or not signed by the mayor himself but by his legal counsel.  My neighbor (lawyer/retired) advised me to wait for the Sangguniang Bayan’s decision and not from the mayor.  Our fight against the cell site continues… –Jezzamine Andaquig, 23 March 2016

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