Tom to vendors: Return to area
ABOUT 50 fish vendors can go back to the site where their demolished stalls once stood and continue to sell fish there, without any worries of being driven away again by Barangay Ermita Captain Felicisimo “Imok” Rupinta and barangay tanods.
This developed after leaders of the Calderon Barracks Association (CBA), an association of fish vendors in Barangay Ermita, met with Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña on Monday at City Hall.
Anna Marie Ariosa, CBA spokesperson, said Mayor Osmeña told them to go back to the area and continue selling fish there.
Ariosa, together with other fish vendors, sought City Hall's help after Ermita tanods, upon the order of Rupinta, demolished fish vendors’ stalls on Saturday and ordered them transfer and to sell fish in another area of the Carbon market.
Ariosa and the vendors claimed that the action against them was made because they stopped paying P10 arcabala, after they read in the papers that it was not required of them to pay that barangay fee.
Osmeña said that the demolition of the vendors' stalls was a ploy to transfer them to another place where the barangay captain could collect more money.
"I see this as a personal business of “Imok," Osmeña said.
Osmeña assured the vendors that if they would be harassed again while selling fish in the area, Councilor Dave Tumulak would be the one to act on that.
Tumulak is the city's deputy mayor on police matters.
When sought for comment, Rupinta said he would allow the vendors to return to the area and he would not bother them.
He said that now the tanods would be focusing on Kalag Kalag duties.
He also said that he would also meet with the vendors and Councilor Tumulak on Friday at City Hall where they would discuss this issue./