Chiong denies claims of withholding assistance

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo November 06,2018 - 10:26 PM


The P4.5 billion environmental class suit over the massive landslide in Naga City is set for filing today.

Some of the complainants however, were allegedly threatened to be excluded from the cash assistance to be given by the Naga City government to the landslide victims who are awaiting relocation.

Kimberly Monterde, one of the persons who organized the landslide victims for the filing of the case, said the other complainants called her at 7 a.m. when former Mayor Valdemar Chiong allegedly went to the Enan Chiong Activity Center (ECAC), one of the evacuation sites, and told the evacuees that they should have not joined the case.

“Ang kaso ugma (Wednesday) pa man gyod ma-file. Gisuroy gyod sila ni Val Chiong alas 7 sa buntag. Giingnan sila nga ‘Wa pa gyod mo makontento sa P100 thousand nga assistance?’ Gi-hulga lang sila nga di sila tagaan sa ilang financial assistance,” Monterde said.

She said the former mayor, who is the father of incumbent Mayor Kristine Vanessa Chiong, brought with him a list of the people who joined the case.

Monterde claimed that some victims who were supposed to get their P100,000 check for their financial assistance, were not given their checks because they were among the list of complainants.

Mayor Kristine however denied Monterde’s claim.

“No checks have been signed because I’m in Manila now, until tomorrow for a meeting. Processing of the financial humanitarian assistance to the 444 families within the delineated critical zone nearest to the landslide body is on-going as well as their option for relocation,” Mayor Chiong said in a text message to Cebu Daily News.

“I have met with these 444 families to present the assistance and relocation that the city government has prepared for them. Last cluster I met yesterday. This assistance is for all families affected, regardless of the filing of any case against the city,” Chiong’s text message further read.

Monterde claimed that some of the victims backed out of the case because they were in dire need of the financial assistance. She said some of them staying at the evacuation center claimed that they were excluded from the food rations starting yesterday afternoon.

“Kinahanglan man ta mosabot aning uban nga gakinahanglan gyod sa financial assistance, pero kining mga tawo nga namatyan, nawad-an og balay, niingon sila nga bisag asa pa mag-abot mopadayon gyod sila. Ikaw ba maoy wala nay balikan, lalim ba,” Monterde said.

The P4.5 Billion class suit against Apo Land and Quarry Corporation (ALQC), Apo Cement, Cemex Holdings Phils. Inc., Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB-7), City Government of Naga and Cebu Province will be filed before the Naga City Regional Trial Court today, November 7,

Aside from damages, the complainants are also asking for an environmental protection order to stop all quarry activities within the province’s jurisdiction.

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