Petition for Mandamus clarified

Exchange of words over BCT controversy

By Roy Gersalia

BULAN, Sorsogon – – (News)- – A heated exchange of words erupted between Mayor Helen de Castro and former vice mayor Albino Guyala III over the controversial Bulan Central Terminal (BCT)  in a radio program aired over One Fm yesterday.

   Guyala called and answered back through his mobile phone, when de Castro, the guest of the Wednesday edition of the “Radyo Patrol Bulan” program said that the other petitioners, except Guyala III and Rodolfo Gogolin, have already withdrawn from their petition filed already at the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 65 in Sorsogon City.

   Guyala said, the mayor is only spreading disinformation to the people of Bulan. He added, it is a desperate attempt of the administration to cover up. “It is a tactic used often by them. Spreading wrong information through the use of their controlled radio [station] to divide the people,” Guyala said.

   A petition for mandamus was filed October 25 at the RTC Branch 65 by La Fuerza del Pobre represented by Rodolfo Gogolin, together with Albino Guyala III, Eddie Meteoro, Marilou Ong, Rizal Guyala, Will Gerola, Juve Gillego, Abraham Gersalia, Rey Lorilla and Ferrer Gojar.

   Guyala clarified that the petition for mandamus is not an adversarial proceeding. He said, it is a relief sought by the petitioners from the court to be the one to order or “command” the local government of Bulan to make public all the records, documents and papers pertaining to the establishment of the bus terminal, its proposed operational guidelines and whatever obligations the LGU entered into with whoever or whatever party.

   “But the De Castros portrayed us (the petitioners) like we are obstructionists whose motive is simply to derail this project”, Guyala explained.  “If they are not hiding anything from the public, why not show these papers and documents? These are public documents which the Constitution guarantees to be open to the people under the people’s right to information and access to it is likewise protected by no less than highest law of the land,” Guyala said.

   De Castro, however, said that she prefers to settle the matter in court. “Let’s talk about it in court, anyway, the case has already been filed. I don’t want to talk about the terminal anymore,” the mayor said.

   In reaction, Guyala said, “They are the ones who started talking about it (the Petition) in public and engage in disinformation. (But) when I talked back, they now accuse me of playing sympathy with the public. Diin ako suon pupuruton?”