Bacolod mayor appeals to Iloilo mayor: Withdraw ‘persona non grata’ tag vs vice mayor
BACOLOD CITY — Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez has appealed to Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas to withdraw his declaration of Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran as persona non grata after the mix-up in the arrival of 80 Badjaos in Iloilo from this city.
“I have expressed concern that maybe he can recall his declaration of the vice mayor as persona non grata. Technically, there were lapses that were not the vice mayor’s doing,” Benitez said last week.
He added he was still waiting for a reply from the Iloilo City mayor.
Last month, 80 Badjaos were supposed to return to their provinces in Mindanao on board a roll-on, roll-off vessel through Panay Island.
But instead of going home, they disembarked in the port of Dumangas in Iloilo and stayed there.
Upon learning about the incident, Treñas issued Executive 039 declaring Familiaran persona non grata or “undesirable and unwelcome” in Iloilo City for the “uncoordinated and poorly planned” transfer of Badjaos.
Both Benitez and Familiaran apologized for the blunder. Treñas accepted the apology but didn’t withdraw the declaration against the Bacolod vice mayor whom he blamed for the “lack of coordination” in the transfer to Badjaos.
Familiaran was acting mayor at that time since Benitez was out of the country.
Benitez told reporters on Monday that there was a need for a program to find total solution to the nomadic culture of the Badjao community and provide them with better lives in their hometowns.
He noted it had been a cycle that these Badjaos go to other parts of the country only to be sent home later.
The Badjaos are known for begging on the streets of the places they arrive at.