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Dumaguete City, PhilippinesTuesday, October 9, 2012
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Probe on involvement of councilor
in ‘hot meat’ incident ordered

Dumaguete City Mayor Manuel Sagarbarria has asked Vice Mayor Alan Gel Cordova to investigate a recent anti-hot meat operation involving a Sangguniang Panlungsod member.

Sagarbarria said that the incident on September 21 involving Councilor Antonio Remollo, is within the jurisdiction of the SP.

The Hot Meat Surveillance Team of Task Force Sagarr had swooped down on a vendor, identified as Jerry Barrera, who was allegedly roasting a pig near his house at Cervantes Extension in Barangay 8.

While the task force, led by Charles Tubog was inspecting the area, Barrera, whom city officials tagged as a “well-known hot meat vendor/supplier”, allegedly telephoned Councilor Joe Kenneth Arbas, apparently seeking his intercession.

An incident report by Task Force Sagarr showed that Arbas, whose voice was heard over the speaker of Barrera’s cellphone, told the latter to contact Remollo, who arrived later, and told the inspecting team not to confiscate the lechon and to just impose penalties and collect fines from Barrera.

But City Veterinarian Lourdes Socorro said that Barrera violated the law and therefore, the lechon must be confiscated.

Remollo then claimed that a City Hall employee had ordered the lechon that will be delivered to Singapore. Socorro said she will not issue a shipment clearance, citing the law against hot meat, the incident report added.

Remollo then said he will take charge of the lechon as it was the birthday of his nephew, but Socorro told Barrera to go to City Hall to sign the confiscation receipt.

But when Barrera later appeared before Socorro, she told him there was no confiscation receipt to sign since the lechon was never delivered to her office, and that she did not know of its whereabouts.

Sagarbarria said he hopes that the SP will take appropriate action on the matter.

Cordova said he will let the process take its course, and referred the matter to the SP Committee on Personnel, chaired by Councilor Esperidion Catan, and on Ethics, headed by Councilor Erwin Macias.*JFP

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