Urgent appeal to the honorable city mayor of Iloilo City
is an appeal to Hon. Jose Espinosa III, Iloilo City mayor, praying to order the implementation of the third and final Notice of Violation issued by the office of the Zoning Administrator on Oct. 25, 2017 that expressly declared, “Your poultry operation is forbidden on the very place where it is presently operated and maintained and the same is therefore illegal” and “direct you to immediately cease and desist your poultry business operation” with the warning, “Your failure to comply with this directive will constrain us to take drastic action.”
Seven months and 14 days already lapsed but the operation of the medium-scale poultry with 7,000 heads of layers owned by spouses Edwin and Ma. Venia Abella and located just beside the perimeter of the fully inhabited Villa Sto. Niño Subdivision persists, in defiance to the lawful order of the City Zoning Administrator which has long become final and executory for failure of respondents to file any motion for reconsideration/appeal nor resort to exhaustion of administrative remedies under the law.
There is solid evidence to support the findings that the Abella Poultry Farm operation is illegal. During the First Technical Conference with complainants, respondents and representatives of different offices in attendance, it was established that subject poultry in question has: 1) No Locational Clearance 2) No Environmental Compliance Certificate nor Certificate of Non- Coverage required under Presidential Decree (PD) 1586
3) No clearance from the City Health Office on the suitability of the location pursuant to Chapter IX PD 856, Implementing Rules and Regulation on Nuisance and Offensive Trade and Occupation 4) No Zoning Certificate 5) No updated Business Permit and if any, the same is subject to cancellation due to attendant violations.
Complainants maintain that the final and executory Notice of Violation issued against the illegal operation of the Abella Poultry Farm cannot be stopped by any Restraining Order from any court. It is settled jurisprudence that Restraining Order will not lie if the act sought to be restrained is already a “fait accompli.” Neither will any court action resorted to by the respondents against the government officials prosper for failure of the Abella spouses to exhaust administrative remedies.
It is very puzzling why respondents insist on the operation of their poultry farm. There is no legal basis or justifications to defy/disobey the lawful order of CENRO.
Ours is a government of laws and not of men and no person is above the law. No right or privilege can arise from an illegal act, otherwise it will open the floodgates for many to engage in all forms of disobedience to law and order.
We can still vividly recall when the City Legal Office immediately ordered in two days time the closure of bars and nightspots after 2 a.m. at Smallville Complex to prevent the rampant commission of crimes by persons under the influence of drugs and/or intoxicating drinks. It raises quizzical eyebrows why the same office now finds it extremely difficult to implement the lawful, final and executory order of CENRO for the Abella Poultry Farm to immediately stop.
Safeguarding the lives and health of the affected residents of the subdivision from the hazard of the pollution caused by and emanating from 7,000 heads of poultry layers is as important as pre-empting lawless activities at Smallville. Legal pundits know that the life of a person cannot be valued by pecuniary estimation hence, it cannot be equated with the material concern of respondents of any possible diminution of profit or in consequence on their part if the questionable poultry classified as illegal per se were to be relocated elsewhere.
With the onset of the rainy season the unpleasant odor from the poultry in question has intensified, aggravated by the increasing number of flies reaching the residential area.
Respondents persist up to this writing with the operation of their poultry with no sign of relocating the same. While Iloilo City is known for its friendly, peace-loving and law abiding residents we are appalled by the blatant defiance on CENRO’s lawful orders.
Worst, the respondents’ failure to appear, including their counsel, during the recent second technical conference despite due notice is indeed contemptuous. If it were committed against the courts of law, it would have resulted to the issuance of an order for their arrest. Such attitude is a misplaced and unwarranted disregard of law and order in a civilized society.
We hope and pray that the good mayor of Iloilo City, the honorable Jose Espinosa III, will hear the plight of the complainants if only to put an end to their misery.
We fully support your endeavor to maintain law and order and bring sanity to the conduct of public officials geared towards the continuing progress of our beloved city. –
RESIDENTS OF VILLA STO. NIÑO SUBDIVISION, Iloilo City