A businessman-critic of Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza decried what he called harassment by City Hall that has put pressure on him and members of the Mactan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI).
Businessman Efrain Pelaez Jr. said their businesses were being reassessed for taxes and charged higher amounts.
He said the scrutiny of their business permits by the city treasurer’s office was apparent reprisal for his press conference last month where he complained about the city’s mounting garbage problem and sent a “notice to sue” to Lapu-Lapu city officials, who were given 30 days to take action or face charges before the Visayas Ombudsman’s Office.
Lapu-Lapu City Administrator Teodulo Ybañez denied Pelaez’s accusations, saying the businessman was just after publicity.
During yesterday’s 888 News Forum, Pelaez again discussed the garbage problem in Lapu-Lapu City and showed videos to support his complaint.
He showed a video of garbage burning in front of a barangay hall in Lapu-Lapu.
“They should admit that they don’t have a system. They are just burning the garbage. Instead of doing their job, they call me names,” he said.
Pelaez said he took the videos two to three weeks ago.
Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza said the solid waste problem cited by Pelaez was a “cheap political trick.”
Pelaez ran but lost to Radaza in the 2010 mayoralty elections.
The businessman said he may run against Mayor Radaza in 2013.
“Frankly, I want to keep away from politics. This is not my fight alone. I’m complaining because I’m a citizen of Lapu-Lapu. I want to make sure that they will take actions,,” he said in a phone interview.
Mayor Radaza said the city government has been conducting seminars to equip barangays to efficiently manage their solid waste.
She said her administration showed political will when the city filed a case against a political ally for violation of the garbage ordinance.
Radaza said the city is in the forefront of implementating solid waste management laws.
Last week seven new garbage trucks and three motorcycles that cost almost P8 million were presented in blessing rites in City Hall.
Radaza said the trucks were purchased last year and were not delivered in reaction to Pelaez’s complaint. /Norman V. Mendoza, Correspondent