Category Archives: Concerned Citizen

The rise of the cellular tower

Note: This video was shot at around 7:30 in the morning today, 12 April 2016 (Tuesday).  The tower is halfway finished.

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Above is the anomalous Dominer Pointe Inc./ BellTel Philippines cellular tower located at Block 11 Lot 1 Mt. Samat St., Amityville Subdivision, Bgy. San Jose, Rodriguez, Rizal, Philippines that the mayor, Mr. Cecilio C. Hernandez (I won’t call him “Honorable”) approved together with Vice Mayor Jonas Cruz and the following councilors:

  • Councilor Rommel C. Ayuson
  • Councilor Glenn S. Evangelista
  • Councilor Katrina Ramos-Leyva
  • Councilor Mark Anthony C. Marcelo
  • Councilor Arman Leo H. Angeles
  • Councilor Mario Roderick C. Lazarte
  • Councilor Roger N. Frias
  • Councilor Richard M. Buizon

And this anomalous cell site is in collaboration with some officials of Amityville Homeowners Association:

Edilberto “Butch” Braganza, president; Jun Padama, vice president; Christopher Toliongco, director; Louie Rosario, director; Marcelito Ramos, director; Paul Jake Cuenca, director; Erwin Capalungan, director, and Nicanor Braganza, director.

This cell site is anomalous because:

-This arises from a questionable decision on our complaint against Dominer Pointe Inc./ BellTel Phils. proposed cell site installation near our house where there is no attachment of Office of Sangguniang Bayan resolution, no attachment of documents that indeed the contractor complied with all the requirements. And when I asked about the copy of those attachments (because it is said so in the letter), Engr. Alexander Almario, municipal engineer and building official of Rodriguez, Rizal, told me to submit a formal letter of request.

-Because when we filed a Motion for Clarification addressed to Engr. Alexander Almario, municipal engineer and building official, to question the decision on lifting the cease and desist order for the construction of cell site , the reply came from Atty. Pascual R. De Guzman, legal counsel from the mayor’s office telling us that they “see no anomaly in the foregoing procedures because due process was observed before the decision was implemented.” Again the reply got no presentation of those documents or attachments that were said so in a decision/order.

-Because the contractor, the local government of Rodriguez, Rizal, and some officials of Amityville Homeowners Association did not consult us, the homeowners and residents, about the cell site that they are going to put near our houses, there was no general assembly of homeowners which is against the law, Republic Act No. 9904 Magna Carta for Homeowners and Homeowners Association.

-Because the contractor, the local government of Rodriguez, Rizal, and some officials of Amityville Homeowners Association lied during the 19 January 2016 hearing, when they presented a survey signed by “residents” of Amityville Subdivision.  But those “residents” who signed approving the proposed Dominer Pointe Inc./BellTel Phils. cell site are construction workers of the cell site and the informal settlers.

-Because the Office of the Mayor was the one who approved the cell site, it was also the Office of the Mayor that issued the temporary Notice of Suspension with Cease and Desist Order for the construction of cell site “until contractor present its environmental compliance certificate…” The decision to lift the Notice of Suspension with Cease and Desist Order was based on the recommendation of Atty. Pascual R. De Guzman, an employee from the Office of the Mayor and who was defending the contractor during the public hearing.

-Filing for a case against the elected officials is not the next option because homeowners living with their families near the cell site got no extra money to pay for Attorney’s fees and other expenses in court because they’re mostly retirees and got no income. My family and I have the same predicament.  And the justice system is so slow you would count years.  But this cell site, this could have been stopped if the local government of Rodriguez, Rizal led by Mayor Cecilio Hernandez  paid attention to our complaints.  But Mayor Cecilio Hernandez and his alipores ignored our petition letters, position paper (they never read it), and rage against the cell site and continued instead with the construction of this BellTel Phils. cell site right smack in the middle of houses, and to our misfortune near our house.

 

 

Reply to our Motion for Clarification

This is the reply to our MOTION FOR CLARIFICATION from Atty. Pascual R. De Guzman, Executive Assistant IV, Office of the Mayor, Local Goverment of Rodriguez, Rizal. My question is, the Office of the Mayor of Rodriguez, Rizal was the one who approved the cell site. It was also the Office of the Mayor of Rodriguez, Rizal who issued the temporary Notice of Suspension with Cease and Desist Order for the construction of cell site “until contractor present its environmental compliance certificate…” The decision to lift the Notice of Suspension with Cease and Desist Order was based on the recommendation of Atty. Pascual R. De Guzman, an employee from the Office of the Mayor and who was defending the contractor during the public hearing.

5 Apr 2016 Atty De Guzman

Dear media professionals and journalists,

Ako po si Jezzamine Andaquig, 37 years old, at pitong taon nang naninirahan sa Amityville Subdivision, Bgy. San Jose, Rodriguez, Rizal. At ito po ang aking report.

Kawawa ang bayan ng Rodriguez, Rizal. Na-sample-an kami ng klase ng magulong paglilingkod serbisyo ng lokal na gobyerno ng Rodriguez, Rizal na pinangungunahan ni mayor Cecilio Hernandez. May inireklamo kami kay mayor na proposed cell site sa Block 11 Lot 1 Mt. Samat St., Amityville Subd.,  Bgy. San Jose, Rodriguez, Rizal na kanyang inaprubahan kasama ng kanyang mga konsehal. Nagkaroon ng hearing 19 January 2016. Nagkaroon ng temporary Notice of Suspension with Cease and Desist Order 25 January 2016 dahil sa aming reklamo na walang ECC ang naturang cell site, walang consent from the homeowners and residents. Nagkaroon ulit ng hearing 23 February 2016. Kami ay ni-request na mag-submit ng position paper. Nagsubmit kami position paper three working days later 29 February 2016.

Noong 19 March 2016, Sabado, nakatanggap kami ng plain document na nirerekomendang tanggalin ang cease and desist order, isang rekomendasyon galing kay Atty. Pascul De Guzman, legal counsel ni mayor Hernandez, dahil kumpleto naman daw ang papeles ng contractor sa pagtatayo ng cell site pero walang presentasyon o pagpapakita ng sinasabi nilang kumpletong papeles. Si Atty. Pascual, sya nga pala yung abogado ni mayor na during the 23 February 2016 public hearing ay lantaran ang pagdedepensa sa kabilang panig.

Pagsapit ng 30 March 2016, dumating ang kopya ng notice mula kay municipal engineer/building official, Engr. Alexander Almario, at mayor Cecilio Hernandez na inaalis na nila ang cease and desist order sa naturang cell site na aming ninanais na ipatigil. Sa notice na iyon, walang naka-attach na resolusyon mula sa Office of Sangguniang Bayan, na ito’y dininig ng mga miyembro ng council.

Sa kabila ng aming nai-submit na petition letters pirmado ng homeowners and residents, sa kabila ng mga obvious na katibayan, itinuloy pa rin nila ang pagko-construct ng cell site. Paano nangyari iyon? Dahil yung sinasabing survey na ginawa ng contractor ay pirmado halos ng construction workers at informal settlers. Kung hindi panloloko ang ginagawa sa amin ng lokal na gobyerno ng Rodriguez, Rizal kasabwat ang DC Sandil (na pagmamay-ari diumano ni Gov. Ynares), contractor Dominer Pointe Inc., at subcontractor BACDCC Telecom Agent Corp., at ilang opisyales ng homeowners association, ano ang tawag dito?

Ang kanilang baluktot na pagdadahilan na may pattern naman, may cell site na rin naman sa ibang parte ng Rodriguez, Rizal ay nangyari lamang dahil walang nagreklamo sa mga residente. At sa kabila ng aming naging emosyonal at derechong pagke-question at pagtutol sa cell site noong public hearing, iginigiit pa rin nila na walang ginawang mali ang contractor, ang mayor, at ang ilang opisyales ng asosasyon.

Tuloy pa rin ang laban sa pagpapatigil ng Dominer Pointe Inc./BellTel Phils. cell site na sa kasamaang palad ay malapit lang sa aming mga tahanan.

This picture was taken on 2 April 2016, Saturday.

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Photo taken on 2 April 2016, Saturday.

Motion for Clarification (Cell Site in Amityville)

Submitted this today to Rodriguez, Rizal’s municipal engineer and building official, Engr. Alexander Almario.  This is our Motion for Clarification on the decision  that came out regarding the Dominer Pointe Inc./BellTel Phils. proposed cell site in Mt. Samat St., Amityville Subd., Bgy. San Jose, Rodriguez, Rizal that we are aiming to stop.

Motion for Clarification p1

Motion for Clarification p2

A questionable decision (Cell site in Amityville)

I almost got a heart attack this morning when I discovered these documents on my working table that nobody at home told me about, or forgot to tell me.  Didn’t notice it last night for it was beneath a notebook used as paper weight. And I have other papers also on the table, all cell site-related, so I thought they’re just my old stuff.  Those documents are copy of the letters from the Office of the Mayor and Office of Municipal Engineer of Rodriguez, Rizal that arrived in the afternoon of 30 March 2016, Wednesday, according to my younger brother.  Here are those letters.

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Had to be absent from work so I could attend to this and go to the municipal hall to verify these documents.  Documents that tell us they’re lifting the Notice of Suspension with Cease and Desist Order for the construction of Dominer Pointe Inc./BellTel Phils. cell site near our house.  Got a chance to talk with Engr. Almario and he said he was just following order from the mayor.  I am not a lawyer but I asked him where is the resolution from the Sangguniang Bayan, where are the attachments that indeed both the contractor and subcontractor complied with all the requirements when obviously they are not (IT GOT NO CONSENT FROM US, THE BONAFIDE HOMEOWNERS AND RESIDENTS OF AMITYVILLE.  We sent a position paper with evidences, did he read it?  He said no, he didn’t see the document, I said didn’t he look for our position paper with Coun. Angeles, he said he did, he said they based their decision on their legal counsel’s recommendation and upon the mayor’s order.   He said if I need copies of those documents that weren’t attached I should submit a formal letter.

To be continued.

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

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

 

Position Paper Against Dominer Pointe Inc./ BellTel Phils. Cell Site

Note:  This position paper to stop the cell site installation in Amityville Subdivision was submitted this morning at 9:45a.m. to the office of councilor Arman Leo H. Angeles, chairman of Committee on Public Utilities.

Complainant respectfully submits this position paper to support its stand to stop the construction of the cell site at Mt. Samat St., Amityville Subd., Bgy. San Jose, Rodriguez, Rizal.

It is rather surprising that the alleged president of Amityville Homeowners Association, Mr. Edilberto “Butch” Braganza, stands with Dominer Pointe Inc./ BellTel Phils. cell site instead of the homeowners of Amityville for which he was elected for.

He submitted an alleged survey conducted by the officers of Amityville Homeowners Association (AHA) to support Mr. Braganza’s stand in favor of Dominer Pointe Inc./BellTel Phils’ cell site. This survey, which is undated, does not contain the addresses of those who signed the alleged survey which could have been intended to blindfold the mayor and the councilors to recheck whether the signatures were true or not. This was conducted only after we have filed the complaint on 22 December 2015 with the Office of the Mayor and the survey was submitted only on 19 January 2016 during our council hearing presided by councilor Armand Leo H. Angeles, chairman of the Committee on Public Utilities. Further, the signatures affixed to the survey were construction workers of the cell site and informal settlers but not homeowners. There is a clear misrepresentation of the president of Amityville Homeowners Association to mislead the council for reasons known to him only. Only homeowners who are officers of Amityville Homeowners Association signed the alleged survey (Annex A). This is a clear indication that the AHA does not have the support of the homeowners and in fact, the homeowners had been calling for reelection of officers to get rid of the present setup. The mayor’s office lawyer, Atty. De Guzman, claimed that their office received all the documents needed for the construction of the cell site and that is the reason why the same was approved. Atty. De Guzman, however, did not have any document to present and he was only reciting on memory. It does not follow, however, that the attorney argued that if we remove the cell site then all other cell sites will be removed. The presence of the other cell sites came to exist because there was no complaint from the residents.

The president of AHA, Mr. Braganza, also claimed that a general meeting of members of AHA was conducted but in truth there was no such general meeting. Not one of the legitimate homeowners attended such general meeting. There was no proof whatsoever that a general meeting was conducted. In fact, the homeowners had been asking Mr. Braganza to call for a general meeting to resolve the problem concerning the cell site but he refused and claimed that the general meeting will only be called on July 2016, that is five months from now.

An alleged Board Resolution dated 14 December 2014 submitted by Mr. Braganza, president of AHA, during the 19 January 2016 council hearing was only signed by eight members (Annex B). One of the officers of AHA, Ms. Jackie Capuchino, 2nd Vice President, informed the homeowners that she did not know about the alleged board resolution but her name was printed therein but was not asked to sign the said resolution.

On the part of Dir. Agnette Peralta of the Department of Health (DOH), when she conducted a briefing she stated that while there is no radioactive effect in the construction of the cell site there is however radiation correctly called as radio frequency radiation. But she only discussed about the radiation effect on the short term. DOH has yet to make studies on long term impacts of cell site towers so therefore, our health concerns are still valid.

Despite the cease and desist order issued by the building official and approved by the mayor on 25 January 2016, Dominer Pointe Inc./ BellTel Phils. ordered the delivery of materials for the cellular tower on the early morning of 4 February 2016 with the intention of disregarding the cease and desist order which I successfully stopped at around 1 o’ clock in the morning (Annex C) but on the same day at around 12 noon, when I was in the office at the Commission on Human Rights, returned to the site with the same load and left the same at the construction ground (Annex D). Further, on 5 February 2016, I conducted investigation on the personality of Dominer Pointe Inc., the contractor of BellTel Phils. cell site, and I found out that the telephone numbers 633-9757 to 58 which they specified in their building permit was not theirs but to a law firm at Discovery Suites. And the office address written in their building permit which is Unit 402, Prestige Tower, Ortigas Center, Pasig City is unoccupied, vacant, and padlocked (Annex E). And when I inquired from the adjacent office I was informed that the previous tenant of the unoccupied unit was also a law firm. This only shows that Dominer Pointe Inc./ BellTel Phils. is bent on misleading the engineering office of the Municipality of Rodriguez, Rizal.

In summary, Dominer Pointe Inc./ BellTel Phils. cell site does not have environmental compliance certificate (ECC), clearance from National Telecommunications Commission, approved building permit, approval of the bonafide homeowners, and others. And despite the absence of the ECC, the building permit, and other pertinent documents, Dominer Pointe Inc./ BellTel Phils. started the excavation on November 2015 (Annex F). For this reason, we pray that the cell site should be stopped and removed from the area where they are now for the general protection of the residents.

JEZZAMINE E. ANDAQUIG
Attorney-in-Fact for the petitioners and
Mr. Edilberto T. Andaquig of
Amityville Subdivision

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The Dominer Pointe Inc./ BellTel Phils. cell site in Amityville Subdivision is under Notice of Suspension with Cease and Desist Order from the mayor after we complained.

Public hearing post-report (and deep sentiments)

Retired public servant Mrs. Concepcion Sulla, retired DENR employee Mr. Romeo De Ocampo, Atty. Conrado Boro (retired) and his wife, retired UP employee Anita Boro, retired UP employee Mr. Fernando Camba, Mr. Roy Marquez, ex-military Mr. Rimando, Atty. Celestino Alcantara (retired) and his wife Delza Alcantara, retired UP employee Edilberto Andaquig and his children: JP Andaquig and yours truly, Jezzamine Andaquig. We were the ones who attended the public hearing today, 23 February 2016, on our complaint against the Dominer Pointe Inc./BellTel Phils. cell site. However, Mr. Jess Santiago dropped by just to say this one thing to me:  “Tell them the cell site is near the school.  Sorry I cannot attend.” Then he quickly left.  Others could not come because of other commitments.

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). 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 session began with a prayer. Then introduction of participants. After a brief remarks from Coun. Angeles, he asked what was it again that we’re complaining about with regard to the cell site (this was his same question during the first hearing). He called my name to be the first to speak.

Standing up, I said I wanted to ask the Dominer Pointe Inc. representative Mr. Bondad what was his designation since he’s only introducing himself as representative. Coun. Angeles stopped me and said that he’s asking for my statement and it’s not time to ask questions. Keeping my emotions in check, I uttered only one line: Alisin nyo yung cell site sa tabi ng bahay namin. Something like that. Then I sat down. Coun. Angeles asked me to elaborate. I stood up again, Alisin nyo yung cell site dahil wala itong consent from us. Walang ginawang General Assembly ang officers and directors ng Amityville Homeowners Association, hindi nila sinabi kung ano itong cell site, magkano ang renta, at hindi kami tinanong kung pabor kami dito lalo na kami na malapit sa cell site, Andaquig family at Camba family. Dahil kung alam lang namin na may itatayong cell site hindi kami papayag dito. I remember myself saying. Then I sat down.

It was Atty. Alcantara’s (retired) turn. He’s wondering why a cell site was allowed in our subdivision without an environmental compliance certificate. Mr. De Ocampo was also asking the same thing. They spoke with a lot of questions, doubting the integrity of the proposed cell site.

Atty. De Guzman from the panel answered us back. He said the officials of Amityville Homeowners Association (AHA) conducted a survey with the homeowners and residents. That they complied with all the requirements yada, yada, yada. I was seething. I spoke to ms. Delza who was beside me. They’re just saying they have complete documents so where are the documents, I said to her in a whisper. I wanted to speak, so I raised my hand. Coun. Angeles was ignoring me. I was raising my hand to counter-rebuttal Atty. De Guzman’s claim that the officials of AHA surveyed the residents. I wanted to express that those residents who signed are majority informal settlers and construction workers of the cell site. But Coun. Angeles was ignoring me. He paid attention to Coun. Lazarte who gestured at him. Coun. Lazarte suggested that our petition letter on our complaint against the cell site be read for the convenience of our guest from DOH and of everyone. So Coun. Angeles asked his secretary to read it at the front. While she was reading it, I was kind of disappointed. She was having difficulty pronouncing the English words and sounded monotonous. I should have written it in Tagalog. And I should have edited it well.

Coun. Angeles said he’s confused with our complaint. He couldn’t see what was the issue. We answered in chorus. I shouted, “Right to health.” Then Mrs. Sulla stood up. That the cell site will affect children, especially those students of a school that’s also beside the cell site. And its effect will not be immediate but gradual. It would take time for diseases to foster.

I raised my hand again. Some of us were raising our hand. Coun. Angeles chose to divert the attention to Dir. Agnette Peralta of DOH to speak. Dir. Peralta stood up and asked if she could use a microphone. She began by thanking the council for inviting her and in a sort of a knee-jerk reaction, I stood up then blurted out: Dir. Peralta, ako po nag-invite sa inyo. Hindi sila. Dir. Peralta diplomatically thanked me for the correction and for inviting her to the public hearing. Then came the unexpected, she lectured for a long 30 minutes where 90% of which I didn’t understand because she was speaking in technical terms. But she corrected that one I mentioned in my letter describing the cell site as “radioactive.” She said it was a wrong term. She said cell site is not radioactive. Then I heard Nick Braganza, one of our opponents/an AHA director who looked like an informal settler, laughing.

Atty. Boro looked at me and whispered (who’s sitting at the second row seats, I was at the third row seats), Ano ito lecture? Magtanong ka na. I raised my hand. Dir. Peralta allowed me. I asked what’s the minimum safe distance between a cell site and a residence. Oh my God, she was answering in a lengthy, technical terms. Basta what I vividly remember, the radiofrequency radiation (the proper term) of the cell site will only affect people if you touch the antenna or something. I raised my hand again. I said no government study has been conducted ever about the dangers of cell site radiation. But I did research and that there are articles saying that this radiation from cell sites causes cancer but will only appear gradually. Dir. Peralta refuted my statement and said that there have been a lot of studies already but even a single document of those studies she (Dir. Peralta) did not bring. She spoke in great length again, I was no longer listening. But I did pick up one that I did understand. She said you only get cancer if you eat a lot of tocino and other unhealthy food. I was raising my hand.  Atty. Alcantara was raising his hand, too. I feel like we’re on the losing end because Dir. Peralta was speaking in favor to our opponents: Dominer Pointe Inc., BACDDC, officials of AHA, even the two councilors and Atty. De Guzman. Oh dear.  That’s why after Dir. Peralta’s long speech, I heard Coun. Angeles say, “That’s it everyone.  You heard that.  We’re not the ones who invited DOH here.”  Something like that, as if to imply that me inviting them even helped them, not us, prove their argument that the cell site is okay in a residential area.

I cannot remember the sequence but I do remember my brother standing up expressing that just in case the issue on health will be removed as one of our grounds against the cell site because of what Dir. Peralta had explained with great conviction and in great length almost like a litany, there is still that issue on consent. He said there is still that question on the validity of the survey conducted by Mr. Braganza et al. Atty. Alcantara then complained to the panel about not giving us the space during Dir. Agnette’s “lecture” to question her.  It was almost like no interruption.  When Atty. Alcantara asked something and Dir. Peralta was about to answer with a laugh, Atty. Alcantara got pissed off.  He scolded her and asked her why she’s laughing. Atty. De Guzman (from the panel side) was also saying something when Atty. Alcantara lashed out: Anong ginagawa mo dyan? Anong role mo dito? Coun. Angeles was the one who answered him he said he is the municipal’s legal counsel. Umalis ka dyan. Di ka dapat dyan nakaupo kundi dito sa mga upuan sa harap (the warring parties/audience seats). I was raising my hand, calling Coun. Angeles attention because he was ignoring me when next thing I know I heard cuss words being exchanged between Atty. De Guzman (from the panel) and Atty. Alcantara. Coun. Angeles was banging the gavel on the table to stop the commotion. It was almost like the two attorneys would get into fistfight that Mr. Arnel Bautista intervened already. Coun. Angeles was repetitively banging his gavel demanding from us to submit a position paper instead. I was calling him, raising my hand, I wanted to share something, he was still banging the gavel loudly then after giving instruction on the position paper that we will submit he and the rest walked out. There was still a commotion. The sentiments that my fellow residents spoke fell on the staff who got no authority.

After the hearing, I approached Dir. Peralta who was in the Vice Mayor’s office, at the staff area. We talked. I shared with her that the Supreme Court already has an order that a cell site in a residential area is not safe. The residents won and it was against Smart Communication. She was shaking her head as if to connote that what I was saying was invalid. Again, she talked lengthily a sign of a person who gained higher studies from abroad that most of it I did not understand. So I asked, May cell site po ba sa tabi ng bahay nyo? She said her uncle’s house is near a cell site. Then she talked in litany again. Again I asked, Pero may cell site po sa tabi ng bahay nyo kayo po sa personal life nyo, may cell site din po ba sa tabi ng bahay nyo? She said no. I replied, “So hindi nyo po kami maiintindihan, yung sitwasyon namin.” I was questioning her. She was answering me back with great conviction and perhaps getting impatient, she said, “I’ve been working and doing studies in DOH since 1975 which you weren’t even born yet. I studied at the University of Wisconsin… and in October this year, I’ll be retiring.”  I asked if they’ve conducted a study examining those residents near a cell site 5 or 10 or 15 years later.  She said no and they don’t conduct study like that.  They just measure the radiation something of an existing cellular tower. And she said she’ll just leave those documents that I might need at the Vice Mayor’s office. Right this minute, Atty. De Guzman squeezed into our conversation and advised me to just submit the position paper. Tapos na yung issue sa health. Issue on consent ang i-focus nyo na lang. Something like that. He sounded encouraging this time unlike when he was sitting at the panel he sounded like he’s the legal counsel of our respondents. I said my goodbye and thank you to each of them. They were both diplomatic towards me.

At the parking area, under a shelter as we wait for our father to fetch us since my brother JP is still slow to walk because of his leg injury, we heard a motorcycle approaching and as we looked to where the sound was, we saw Coun. Angeles who was smiling at us. We smiled back.

SDC12211Mr. Arnel Bautista of the Office of Sangguniang Bayan

SDC12212While waiting for the hearing to start.

SDC12214

Councilor Mario Roderick Lazarte.  In fairness to this guy, the public hearing wouldn’t have turned chaotic if he was the one who presided.  He seemed like a good person and not what I think he is–a totally bad person–just because he was one of the councilors who gave approval to the cell site.  And I think this needs investigation, hmm.

SDC12219Coun. Arman Leo Angeles, the presiding officer.

SDC12220

Atty. De Guzman

SDC12218Dir. Agnette Peralta of the Department of Health

P.S. I sort of gatecrashed into a meeting happening inside the Vice Mayor’s office.  (Of course, with consent from a staff.) Inside the room were Dominer Pointe Inc.’s Robert Bondad Jr., Coun. Angeles, Coun. Lazarte, and Vice Mayor Jonas Cruz.  Since I’m inside, spontaneously I asked the vice mayor why did he approve the cell site without consent from us residents.  He answered there was a survey, then he turned to Coun. Angeles as if to ask for support to his statement.  Coun. Angeles said it’s the officials of our association that we should ask.  Then looking at vice mayor Jonas, Pero kahit naman in-approve ng officials namin hindi nyo ba chineck man lang kung may consent talaga (like a document to prove it), I said something to that effect.  Realizing that I would still get nothing by asking questions, I said I came in to the room just to say thank you to Coun. Lazarte for that tiny gesture he displayed during the hearing that me and my brother appreciated.

Public Hearing

Received this today.  A notice of the public hearing on 23 February 2016, Tuesday, at 10:30 a.m. at the Municipality of Rodriguez, Sangguniang Bayan Session Hall. This is to give attention to our complaint against a Dominer Pointe Inc./ BellTel Phils. cell site in Amityville Subdivision, Bgy. San Jose, Rodriguez, Rizal.

This cell site was approved by mayor Cecilio C. Hernandez, vice mayor Jonas J. Cruz, and 8 councilors (Rommel C. Ayuson, Glenn S. Evangelista, Katrina Ramos-Leyva, Mark Anthony C. Marcelo,  Arman Leo H. Angeles, Mario Roderick C. Lazarte, Roger N. Frias, Richard M. Buizon) without consent/approval from the homeowners and residents of Amityville Subdivision, particularly us, the Andaquig family and Camba family, who are in close proximity to the proposed cell site!

public hearing