Cebu villagers protest appointment of caretaker
CEBU CITY—At least 80 residents of Barangay (village) Ermita gathered in front of their barangay hall for five hours on Monday to protest the appointment of a policeman as the village caretaker following the suspension of all village officials.
They arrived at the barangay hall around 6 a.m. in anticipation of the arrival of SPO1 Adonis Dumpit, who was supposed to start working as Ermita caretaker after he was appointed by Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña.
They left around 11 a.m. when a police officer told them that a dialog would be held at the police station once Dumpit arrived.
Suspended barangay captain Felicisimo Rupinta also showed up to express his support for the rallyists, who included barangay workers.
The rallyists sat on plastic chairs in front of the barangay hall for hours, demanding that the caretaker of the village should be someone from Ermita.
They also placed on the barangay hall’s steel gate a green cartolina with a message that read: “Ermita para sa taga Ermita (Ermita should be for the people of Ermita).”
The gate had been padlocked by the supporters of Rupinta, said Emerita Juab, a Gender and Development staff member of the village.
“Okay ra gyud namo nga naay caretaker basta taga diri lang. Kung taga laing planeta ang moanhi, wa na sila kahibaw unsay problema sa barangay (It is ok with us if the caretaker is from Ermita. If someone from another plant comes here, they do not know the problem in the village),” she said.
If Dumpit arrived to start his official function, Juab said they would ask for his appointment from the Department of Interior and Local Government or from the Office of the President.
Dumpit’s appointment came from Osmeña since Malacañang had yet to name a caretaker after the DILG implemented the six-month suspension order against Rupinta and seven village councilors pending investigation on the complaint that they didn’t help the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in last year’s raid of the shabu tiangge located 500 meters from the barangay hall. JE/rga