La Union mayor seeks help on trike ban

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SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union: Santol town outgoing Mayor Daisy Sayangda has sought the help of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), for tricycle drivers and operators who were prohibited to ply their route in neighboring Balaoan town.

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Sayangda said that the suspension of the Mayor’s Permit for public utility tricycles issued by outgoing Balaoan Mayor Alfred Concepcion was too harsh and deprived franchisees and drivers of their livelihood.

She added that commuters now have difficulty transporting their agricultural products to Balaoan and the adjacent towns’ regular customers, aside from additional expenses for additional rides.

Concepcion earlier said he suspended the permits because some tricycles were allegedly used to transport illegal drugs to his town. This was belied by Sayangda, saying that Concepcion cannot show proof of drug-related police incidents, aside from not coordinating with her, as well as Sudipen Mayor Wendy Buquing and concerned authorities.

The Balaoan mayor also threatened to have violators arrested unless there is a new negotiation with the other local executives.

Sayangda then appealed to the CHR and the DILG to mediate, and vowed to bring the issue to the national level.

The brewing issue between the neighboring towns, which has caused tricycle operators and drivers to be caught in the crossfire, reportedly stemmed from the recently concluded May 9 elections.

Sayangda claimed that Concepcion’s move was politically-motivated, alleging that some tricycle drivers in her town refused to abide by the latter’s instructions for the elections.

But Concepcion strongly denied her allegations, replying that he did not want to taint Balaoan’s record of zero drug rate, and that he only acted in according with the law. “They do not have the vested right to my municipality,” he said.

Concepcion slid down and was elected vice mayor to his daughter Aleli, who was elected mayor, while Sayangda lost in her bid to become La Union board member, in a slot she contested with Concepcion’s son, Carlo Castor.

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