What’s keeping DILG from settling Puerto’s mayoralty issue? For a while, we thought the Court of Appeals’ ruling in favor of Mayor Bayron and implemented by DILG had settled the issue. But out of nowhere, Vice Mayor Marcaida surprised everyone with his oath taking as Mayor before RTC Judge de Luna. And he did not stop there. He wrote the city government’s department heads and employees imploring obedience and recognition. And he wrote the local banks to honor his signature as the legitimate mayor. The day after, his voluble legal counsel was all over the media explaining some provisions of law to justify Marcaida’s deed. Meanwhile, Mayor Bayron is firmly entrenched at City Hall backed by more solid legal grounds. And while the population is confused and bewildered by this bizarre turn of events, the DILG has not been heard from, not even a whimper. As the national agency which has supervision over local government units, it could not afford to be a silent by-stander. It should immediately put a stop to this imbroglio pending any court order which will set aside the CA ruling. As for Mayor Luis Marcaida, it is not yet too late in the day to realize, that the greater interest of the public could be better served if we allow the legal processes to take its course. And until a definitive order is made dismissing Mayor Bayron, it will be good politics for him to bide time, and thus erase any possible stigma of being an eager beaver – a trait which the public loathes of our officials.
By our own count, it is now the third time that the Provincial Board’s Environment Committee was requested by the Barangay Council of Villa Libertad in El Nido to help thresh out its lingering misunderstanding with Ayala’s Lio project. The cause of it all is the access of local fishermen to their traditional fishing grounds which the Ayala management had somehow restricted. To those not in the know, the Ayala project is such a huge township that has fenced off one side of the barangay. Understandably, the local leaders want unhampered access to the public beach while the resort, due to the nature if its business, bats for strict regulations. During the public hearing conducted by BM Al Rama, it was observed by Punong Barangay Ruben Arzaga that the corporation has reneged on its earlier commitment to allow full access. The corporation represented by its Manager, Mabelle Reyes, asserted the contrary, justifying restrictions as brought about by heightened security considerations. Looks like an immovable object facing an irresistible force.
It will be interesting to watch how the Barangay and the Corporation will solve their common problem, after all some the Ayalas, notably Bea Zobel, are now proud residents of Lio, which incidentally, is the old name of Villa Libertad.