Pelaez to sue Lapu-Lapu officials over garbage

Posted on May 22, 2012

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Businessman Efrain Pelaez Jr. yesterday said uncollected garbage in Lapu-Lapu City remains a critical problem despite his crusade to expose alleged ghost payrolls in the “clean and green” campaign of the Radazas five years ago.
He announced that he was ready to sue Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza and the city’s barangay officials for non-compliance of Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Law.
Pelaez, who ran for mayor but lost to Radaza in the 2010 elections, said he has sent a notice to sue to the mayor and barangay captains giving them 30 days to take “long overdue measures to stop the pollution of our land, air and water ecosystems” or face a lawsuit.
“It’s no fun, it’s all dirt,” said Pelaez, who showed a video during the press conference with scenes of garbage piles in Lapu-lapu City taken from 2007 to the present to illustrate what he called the worsening problem of garbage in Lapu-Lapu city.
The notice to sue was prepared by lawyers Bernardito Florido, Joan Largo and Gonzalo Maligon Jr.
Pelaez is chairman of the Liberal Party in Lapu-Lapu City.
In a separate statement, Mayor Radaza described Pelaez’s move as a “cheap political trick of someone who was defeated in the last elections.”
“Now I know who will my opponent be in the elections next year. Today, he is at it again, trying to make solid waste management an issue,” Radaza said.
In a text message to Cebu Daily News, Pelaez’s spokesman Cerwin Eviota said the businessman has no plan for now to run in 2013.
“No plan nor intent at this time. That is not his concern, not even a priority. All he wants, as he echoes and carries the sentiments of businessmen in Lapu-Lapu City, is to put the incumbent mayor and barangay captains to task for their failure to clean up Lapulapu City, a violation of RA 9003,” said Eviota.
Pelaez’s press conference was attended by some businessmen who supported his complaint.
Filomeno Lim, president of the Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, said that solving the garbage problem is vital for several businesses.
“Cebu and the entire nation will be affected. It is our obligation to solve this problem. It is our duty to protect our business and our social obligation to the environment,” Lim said.
Pelaez said he “expected” the mayor’s countercharge of electioneering.
“Yeah, we expected that. It’s unfortunate that politics will be injected and speculated on. But that does not erase the bigger picture, the bigger issue, that garbage is clearly taken for granted in Lapu-Lapu City, and serious action must now be taken,” he said in a text message.
Mayor Radaza, in a separate interview, said Lapu-Lapu has been strictly implementing the solid waste management laws.
“Our MRF (material recovery facility) is implementing a strict No-Segregation, No-Entry policy. Lapu-Lapu is the only one that has a working MRF in the country. We are building another MRF in Olango Island. Our citation ticket strategy against solid waste violators is being duplicated in other cities. Our records would show that the city is a favorite destination for Lakbay Aral on Solid Waste Management,” Radaza said.
The mayor acknowledged that some barangays in the city are not cooperating like barangay Basak which has been repeatedly issued solid waste citation tickets. She said this is “the barangay captain’s way of sabotaging the city’s effort to keep it clean.” Barangay basak captain Isabelito Darnayla ran and lost to Radaza in the last elections. /Sean Timothy Salvador, Correspondent with Correspondent Fe Marie Dumaboc

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