Tagbilaran City Mayor John Geesnell Yap II on Thursday called out his “haters” as he categorically denied speculations indicating that the Cogon Public Market was intentionally set on fire and that he had a hand in doing it.
“Ang atoang haters, moingon g’yud na atoang gituyo og sunog ang Cogon market para mabag-o, so again, dili nato kinahilanglanon na sunogon pa, unsa my rason na sunogon pa? Na pwede mana e-demolish,” said Yap.
Some of the accusations hurled, mostly through social media, indicated that Yap paved way for the privatization of the area through burning the old structure.
However, Yap said his administration long planned for the rehabilitation of the decades-old market which is owned by the city government but none of the current tenants are to be displaced when construction works start.
“Ato nanang gisabot sila [vendors] na dili g’yud maundang ang ilang panginabuhian, dili nato dunganon og trabaho per side sa [building],” Yap added.
In his address during the city’s 53rd Charter Day on July 1, Yap highlighted the multi-million rehabilitation of the market as among the priority infrastructure projects during his last term as city chief executive.
The Tagbilaran local government unit has allocated a P30-million budget in 2019 for the multi-year project and P20 million for 2020.
“Kani siya, bisan pag wala masunog full-blown g’yud ang buhaton na [rehabilitation],” said Yap.
Yap noted that the market rehabilitation remained to be among top priorities of his administration but said that the city had to complete road repairs and widening first in anticipation of heavier traffic within the growing city.
“Gi una g’yud nato ang mga kadalanan sa syudad kay paspasan nato before mo catch up ang traffic…karon nahuman-human naman ta sa kadalanan mo butang na sad ta atong mga vertical na infrastructures sama sa Cogon market, tourism center, naan a atong Tagbilaran City College unya pohon ang atong Tagbilaran City Colisuem,” he said.
The fire which broke out on Wednesday afternoon left the Cogon Public Market in ruins. No one was injured but the flames razed around 80 stalls.
Fire investigators have yet to identify the cause of the fire. (R. Tutas)