CPA condemns Cebu City officials who ‘forcibly’ entered port

By: Pia Piquero - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | April 02,2024 - 12:55 PM

CPA project

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama orders the installation of a biofence around CPA’s port project near City Hall, halting construction due to permit issues. | Photo by Cebu City News and Information

CEBU CITY, Philippines – The battle of authority between the Cebu Port Authority or CPA and the Cebu City government over the city’s port area is not yet over.

In fact, it has even taken another turn.

The CPA condemned on Monday, Cebu City government officials who they alleged to have “forcibly’ entered the port to confront the reported violations of construction regulations within the port’s premises.

In a press statement released by the CPA through their official Facebook page on April 2, the CPA stated that at around 4 p.m. on April 1, personnel of the Cebu City government “forcibly” entered the port premises despite the fact that the area is outside the territorial jurisdiction of Cebu City.

READ: CPA issue: Cebu City to file cases for alleged violations, multiple illegal constructions

It also stated that the said entry was in defiance of the Writ of Injunction issued in favor of CPA.

The CPA reiterated, through their press statement, that Republic Act 7621, or the Charter of the Cebu Port Authority empowers the Cebu Port Commission (CPC) to manage, administer, operate, maintain, improve, and develop, coordinate, and otherwise govern the activities of all the ports within its territorial jurisdiction.

Moreover, the CPC could provide and maintain port facilities including accessory buildings and installations within its territorial jurisdiction on its own or through the private sector.

According to the CPA, they “strongly condemn these flagrant acts of oppression, harassment, grave abuse and usurpation of authority, and blatant disregard of the law and judicial processes committed by men and women in the seat of power who publicly display knowledge of the law yet conceal a weak ethical core.”

READ: CPA continues project construction despite Rama’s stoppage order

On April 1, City Mayor Michael Rama together with personnel from the Office of the Building Official (OBO), Prevention Restoration Order Beautification and Enhancement (PROBE), and Cebu City Legal Office marched their way to the CPA compound.

Their mission was to check reports of construction work behind the National Museum, even though they had been told to stop.

On March 8, Rama ordered City Hall officials to stop the construction of a port at the back of the National Museum after the Cebu Port Authority (CPA) failed to secure a building permit.

The mayor even slammed the CPA for the lack of “decency” and “courtesy” due to its failure to update his office about its project situated within the city’s territorial waters.

However, despite the call of Rama to stop the construction, the CPA did not seem to heed his order and continued its project construction.

It can be recalled that the national government with CPA as the representative sued City Hall way back on July 7, 2015, asking the Regional Trial Court to stop the city government from exercising acts of ownership over the Compania Maritima property and to declare its tax declaration void.

READ: Navy: Proposed Batanes port may be used in emergencies, aid response

Further, in August of last year, the Carbon Market redevelopment being undertaken caused issues because a portion of the project falls within the area that the court ruling says belongs to the CPA.

Last October, Rama criticized CPA for starting to build a supposed 20-floor building between Compania Maritima and Malacañang sa Sugbo, now a museum under the care of the National Museum of the Philippines.

Rama then said the project that started with fencing the Maritima area was “condemnable, an affront to the city government,” adding that the city would “fight for heritage, culture, and the environment.”/ with reports from Kim Ablaña

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TAGS: Cebu City, CPA, Mayor Rama, port

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