Belen turns table on Brian

ILLEGAL TABON ON LIM’S PREMISES

IF Vice Mayor Brian Lim is finding fault in the backfilling (tabon) of fishponds as the cause of flooding in the city, then he should look no further.

Mayor Belen Fernandez turned the table on Vice Mayor Brian Lim who earlier charged that flooding in Dagupan is caused primarily by continued backfilling of fishponds in the city, she said the vice mayor’s family has been backfilling inside their own property in Barangay Malued without a permit from the City Investment and Development Board.

Kung talagang masama ang pagtatabon, eh bakit itong isa nating kalaban sa pulitika ay nagtatabon din,” she added, referring to Lim.

“You go to Malued, you will see how high they are backfilling their property,” the mayor told the KBP Forum on Thursday, referring to the Lim family’s continued backfilling activities intended to elevate their property in Malued higher than the flood level.

Lim blamed Fernandez in previous week’s edition of the KBP Forum for the recent severe flooding in the city, specifically pointing to the backfilling of fishponds in the city.

She said the opposition led by Lim choose to blame her for the flood because they have no other legitimate issue, i.e., corruption scandal, to raise against her administration and because they have no accomplishments in public service to show.

The mayor said blaming her for continued backfilling of fishponds is ridiculous citing the severe flooding experienced in Baguio, Marikina and some parts of the Philippines and even in the desert of Saudi Arabia that did not do any backfilling.

Kung ma-alala ninyo, ang Dagupan ay hindi naging commercial center o residential area kaagad because it used to be one big swampland,” Fernandez said,

She pointed out that the downtown area was surrounded by fishponds and these were backfilled to meet the demands of urbanization.

Old folks said that during the days of the caretelas, the left side of the then Dagupan Colleges used to be teeming with water lilies where neighbors were linked by elevated wooden stilt footbridges.

Fernandez said had not the city’s forefathers did the daunting task of elevating the place, the city would not have become a major commercial and educational center that it is now known today.

She added that the Filipinos in USA laughed at the “tabon” issue because their places also got flooded in the past, but no backfilling was ever done.

She said providing solutions to the yearly flooding in the city has been one of her priorities since she began her term in 2013, including backfilling of low lying roads to enable residents to move around the city during heavy rains.

Taunting the members of the opposition who she said was never around to help residents during times of calamity, Fernandez said: “Tulog pa po kayo, gising na po ako. Tulog na kayo, hindi pa po ako natutulog.(Leonardo Micua) 

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