No pleasure to burn: MMDA chief denies order to torch illegal vendors' stalls

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 22 2017 12:16 PM

MANILA - Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Danilo Lim said Tuesday that his reported order for a local official in Quezon City to burn the stalls of illegal vendors should not be taken in the literal sense.

"Iyung side comment ko na iyun, hindi naman literal," Lim said in a phone interview with radio DZMM.

(My side comment was not literal.)

A media report said Lim told Barangay Balingasa captain Ma. Teresa Montalbo that he does not want to see sidewalk stalls in Balintawak, where he led a clearing operation Wednesday.

Lim clarified that he only told Montalbo that MMDA enforcers cannot keep returning to the area once the stalls have been dismantled.

"Sinabi ko na hindi naman pwedeng MMDA lang ang pabalik-balik diyan. Magtulungan tayo. Sabi ko nga, responsibilidad ninyo ito dahil kayo ang LGU dito," Lim said.

"Kung mayroon akong nabanggit na sunugin, siguro may side comment ako just to underscore the fact na iyung mga nakukuha nating gamit diyan, mga tables, mga upuan, hindi naman pwede kukumpiskahin tapos babalik na naman."

(I said the MMDA should not be the only one to constantly check on the area, let's help each other. I said this is also your responsibility since you are the LGU. If I indeed mentioned burning, I may have made a side comment just to underscore the fact we could not keep confiscating illegal items, only to have them return here.)

The MMDA chief added that local officials may bring confiscated items to landfills or garbage scavengers to ensure that these will not find their way back to vendors.

Lim said he has also boosted MMDA's intelligence capacity to determine possible irregularities that allow illegal vendors to keep returning to the streets.