Cebuano lawyer goes on hunger strike

64-year-old lawyer protests against cutting of water supply by management of the condominium where he lives in

By: Mae Fhel Gom-os - CDN Digital | August 17,2021 - 12:57 PM

Lawyer Rex Jesus Mario Fernandez takes a selfie as he goes on a hunger strike outside a condominium in Mandaue City. | Photo courtesy of Rex Jesus Mario Fernandez

MANDAUE CITY, Cebu—A 64-year-old Cebuano lawyer is going on hunger strike as a sign of protest against the management of the condominium where he lives in here.

Lawyer Rex Jesus Mario Fernandez has been on hunger strike since Friday morning, August 13, 2021, after the management of the condominium located along Hernan Cortes Street in Barangay Subangdaku allegedly cut off his water supply despite an injunction issued by the court.

“Magpadayon ko sa hunger strike hantod motuman sila or mamatay ko. Depende asa ang mauna,” Fernandez said.

(I will continue to go on hunger strike until they obey or I die. It depends on what comes first.)

Fernandez told CDN Digital that the management of the condominium allegedly disrespected the decision or the order of the court not to cut off his water and power supply.

As of Tuesday morning, August 17, 2021, Fernandez, through a Facebook post, said he is not sleepy but weak.

Fernandez said the struggle must continue until justice is served.

Fernandez said he filed a petition for injunction before the Human Settlements Adjudication Commission (HSAC) against Contempo Property Holdings Inc., after they allegedly threatened to cut off the two basic necessities of life for failing to pay the condominium dues amounting to P3,400 per month.

He said he intentionally did not pay the condominium dues, saying that the management failed to provide him its computation or breakdown for about four years now, or since he got the unit in 2018.

“They ignored me. They continue to ignore me. Every time they send me the bill for condo dues, I always tell them, ‘could you provide me as I have asked before? If not, I will not pay you,'” said Fernandez.

Since he secured the injunction order last May 21, 2021, he said he received no threat of cutting his supplies of water and power, not until August 8 or 9.

But on August 11, his water supply was cut off by management.

“Mag-sag-ob ko’g tubig sa ground floor padung sa akong unit sa 8th floor. Mura ko’g karaang tawo gikan sa bukid,” he added.

(I have to fetch water from the ground floor to my unit on the eighth floor. It’s like old times in the mountains.)

Responsibility

For her part, Beverly Dayanan, chief executive officer of Contempo Property Holdings Inc, expressed that she is saddened to learn about the hunger strike of Fernandez. But she stressed that Fernandez has to understand that paying condominium dues is a responsibility when buying and living in a condo development.

“Atty. Fernandez, however, has to understand and, as it was explained to him right from the start, that paying condominium dues is a responsibility that comes with buying and living in a condominium development. The condominium dues are important to sustain operations, especially when it comes to security, housekeeping, maintenance, etc. It is especially important now, when we have a pandemic and sanitation and disinfection add up to the operations cost,” said Dayanan.

She further said that the lawyer has to resolve his issues regarding condominium dues in the court of law and not through a hunger strike, saying that ‘disconnections due to non-payment are normal occurrences in any condominium and residential development.’

But Fernandez remains firm on his decision about paying the condo dues.

“Remember, I am a unit owner, and I should have been respected for that but they ignored me. Wala sila’y batasan, wala sila’y respeto sa akong gipangayo. Ngano man, naa sila’y gitaguan? Simple ra kaayo na, gawas kon gi-magic-magic ang amount,” he added.

(They don’t respect what I am asking for. Why? Are they hiding something? All I am asking is very simple, unless there’s something fishy with the amount.)

He stressed that under the implementing rules and regulations the management issued, they listed down its basis on how to compute or arrive with the condominium dues.

Apart from that, Fernandez said the title for the common areas such as hallways, swimming pool, generator, elevator, exercise facilities, should have been transferred to the condominium corporation, stressing that they are the ones who will maintain these facilities as what is stated under the law.

“This has not been transferred, and then nganong mohatag man ko og kwarta para sa maintenance sa butang nga dili akoa?,” he explained.

(This has not been transferred, and then why should I give money for the maintenance of a thing that’s not mine?)

Fernandez said everything seemed good when they have discussed the transfer of title with Dayanan. But the latter allegedly postponed the transfer and nothing has happened until now.

Dayanan, meanwhile, said she is worried that Fernandez’ doing would affect the ‘beleaguered workers’ at the condo who have extended their services amid the quarantine restrictions.

“Atty. Fernandez has a pending grievance in court and the issues are subjudice. Contempo will leave to the Condo Corp. the unpaid condo dues of Atty. Fernandez,” she said.

/bmjo

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TAGS: Bamboo Bay, Condominium, Contempo Property Holdings Inc., Lawyer Rex Jesus Mario Fernandez

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