PUERTO PRINCESA CITY: Tension escalated here as supporters of dismissed Mayor Lucilo Bayron have barricaded the city hall gate since Sunday to prevent Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)-Region 4B Director Florida Dijan from serving the dismissal order against the mayor.
On Friday, the sixth day of the stand off at city hall, a civil society group sent a letter to DILG-OIC Catalino Cuy asking him to dismantle the barricade and expel Bayron and his supporters from city hall.
Jose Maria Mirasol, managing director of Advocates for Excellent Government, A.C.S.O., Inc., said the actions of Bayron and his supporters “are now seditious, and has made it clear that he will resist the service of his dismissal order, with violence if necessary.”
He also called for the deployment of the military in the area since they were informed that no policemen were seen to maintain order near and around the city while several major roads were blocked by heavy equipment.
About 300 job order employees were allegedly told to act as human barricade at city hall that effectively prevented Dijan from implementing the order dated September 28, 2017 signed by Cuy.
Mario Lauron, executive assistant of Vice Mayor Luis Marcaida, said four dump trucks owned by a private firm were parked at the front gate while another truck was at the back gate.
Senior citizens and women with children were used as human barricade at the front line and were reportedly promised P300 as incentive.
Bayron has been holed up in his office since Sunday and was not seen going out of the city hall premises.
Lauron added that former Puerto Princesa police chief, Ret Supt David Martinez, is now in charge of Bayron’s security force and responsible for putting up the human barricade and their number was increasing as of Friday.
The Office of the Ombudsman ordered the dismissal of Bayron on December 15, 2016 after it found him administratively liable for serious dishonesty and grave misconduct in appointing his son, Karl, as chief of a task force at the city hall.
The ruling said Bayron did not truthfully disclose his relationship to his son when he signed him for an employment contract which the Ombudsman said, “was a false statement in a public document.”