Silot Bay cleared of fences, says Mendoza

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Saturday, February 8, 2014

FENCES in Silot Bay in Liloan were removed yesterday, said the spokesman of lawyer Democrito Mendoza, whose family owns 92 hectares of the bay.

Art Barrit said that about 50 meters of markers and 12 posts were removed following a meeting yesterday among Liloan Mayor Vincent Franco "Duke" Frasco and three members of the Mendoza family, including Trade Union Congress of the Philippines Rep. Raymond Mendoza.

He said some portions of the fence were left as they bear safety signs.


Barrit said the Mendozas made a commitment to Mayor Frasco.

The mayor earlier sent notices of illegal construction to Democrito Sr. for building a fence on a portion of the bay, which prevented access to fisherfolk.

Frasco confirmed the meeting in a text message, saying he is glad the Mendozas were convinced to remove the fence.

“However, my commitment to the people of Liloan still stands. We will still pass a resolution addressed to the Office of the Solicitor General, Governor Davide and Congressman Durano to revisit the decision of the Supreme Court,” Frasco said in a text message.

Frasco said that aside from the fences, the Mendozas also agreed to remove the floating cottage which is located nearby. Security guards were seen on the floating cottage.

Last Wednesday, a public consultation was held in the town's gymnasium after residents complained that they can no longer fish and swim in Silot Bay because of the fence.

During the dialogue, residents said they are afraid they would be shot by security guards if they go near the area.

“Di angayang mahadlok because wala man ta nagdili nila sa pagligo, panagat ug manguha og seashells (They have nothing to fear because we are not prohibiting the people to swim, fish and pick seashells),” Barrit said.

He said the bay has an area of 520 hectares and only 92 hectares came under the ownership of the Mendozas.

In March 2007, the Supreme Court granted the Mendozas the right to own a portion of the bay that they had developed into a fishpond.

Barrit said the mayor and the Mendozas agreed that an area will be designated as fishing ground of the fishermen.

Barrit said that during a meeting, the Mendozas asked Frasco to look into subdivisions near Silot Bay and to tell the owners to have a waste-treatment facility to avoid polluting the bay.

In a press conference, Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III said he will review the facts regarding Silot Bay to determine what the Capitol can do.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 08, 2014.

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