Labella to Probe: Don’t take vendors’ goods, stalls

CEBU City Mayor Edgardo Labella has told the Prevention, Restoration, Order, Beautification and Enhancement (Probe) team not to confiscate the goods and stalls of sidewalk vendors when calling their attention.

“It does not have to be confiscated,” Labella told a news conference on Monday, Nov. 25, 2019.

The mayor gave the directive after a video of a vendor who was apprehended by Probe personnel went viral on social media, upsetting a lot of netizens.

Probe chief Raquel Arce already apologized for the encounter.

Since President Rodrigo Duterte issued an order to remove all obstructions from public roads, the Probe has been clearing major thoroughfares of sidewalk vendors and illegal structures.

Some sidewalk vendors who were removed from their vending sites have not been able to return and have lost their livelihood.

To help the affected vendors, the City Council has asked the executive department to extend a one-time cash assistance of P5,000 to the 500 displaced vendors while waiting for relocation or for the night market to open.

Labella said that by December, the night market will open and accommodate the displaced vendors.

As for the mishandling of the vendor in the viral video, Labella said the City Legal Office is already investigating the matter.

Labella said if it’s proven that there was grave abuse of authority, the personnel involved may be dismissed from service.

He said the vendor was only trying to earn a living so Probe personnel must exercise maximum tolerance.

“It’s their livelihood. It is better than engaging in illegal drug activities,” Labella said. (JJL)