Benguet chicken dung dealers seek to junk closure order

By KIMBERLYN JOY ALEJO
www.nordis.net

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet — Chicken dung dealers petitioned the court to annul a closure order issued against their operations by Mayor Romeo Salda of La Trinidad.

Rose Maliones, Arnel Lagadeo and Beatriz Timog petitioned the Benguet court to annul the closure order saying that they were not informed earlier depriving them of time to explain their side on June 11.

Maliones and Lagadeo were among chicken dung dealers in sitio Tili, Barangay Shilan covered by the closure order the mayor issued on May 28. Timog is the owner of the lot Maliones and Lagadeo uses as parking and transfer area for chicken dung.

Licensing officer Lawrence Balud served the order to chicken dung dealers on May 29. The closure order said that the chicken dung traders were operating “without securing the necessary business permits.”

The complainants also petitioned the court to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) and bar the municipal government from implementing the closure order.

In their petition, the complainants said that “…Closure Order No. 01, Series of 2018 is ineffectual and null and void from the very beginning since the parties were not properly informed of their violation, if any and that it is in violation of the basic principle of due process”.

The complainants also said the closure order “is unconstitutuonal since it affects private property and that the owner of the said lot, Beatriz Timog is deprived of her own right of beneficial use…” of her property.

They also accused Salda and other local officials of abuse of authority that violated their right to due process. They also alleged that they were being singled out saying that Melecio Orig, a chicken dung trader was not issued a closure order. The complainants added that they have been operating for more than five years now yet they only received a closure order this year.

Franklin Yubos, one of the chicken dung traders who received a closure order immediately complied.

Salda said that the traders insist that the location of the chicken dung storage is not within La Trinidad. “That’s why we issued closure order because we noted that their operations is within the municipality of La Trinidad,” Salda added.

La Trinidad Legal Officer Attorney Bartolome Baldas, Jr. said that they also issued the Closure Order No. 03 addressed to Maliones after the Closure Order No. 01.

Baldas said that the court asked the municipal government to submit a position paper during the June 19 hearing. He said that they will be submitting their position paper to the court on June 25.

It can be recalled that in 2009, RTC Branch 63 presiding Judge Benigno Galacgac has issued the writ of preliminary injunction declaring chicken dung trade as public nuisance.

La Trinidad Administrative Order No 008 Series 2010, on the other hand expressly prohibits the sale, disposal, and storage of chicken dung in the municipality. The administrative order has not been repealed nor modified.

Benguet farmers use chicken dung as fertilizers. # nordis.net

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