Manila Mayor Joseph E. Estrada has vowed to unmask protectors of illegal vendors in Manila and file charges against them.
“We should take out the root of the problem. And the root is these individuals and groups that provide protection to illegal vendors and terminals. Whoever they are, whoever their backers are, they should be demolished,” Estrada said.
Estrada ordered Manila’s law enforcement authorities to crush individuals and groups protecting illegal vendors and transport terminals.
He has ordered Che Borromeo, head of the Task Force Cleanup Manila, to utilize “all available legal methods” to identify these protectors, including their “padrinos” and bring them to court.
Some corrupt policemen, barangay officials, and even city hall personnel face are accused of protecting vendors in the city.
Estrada lamented that these groups and individuals often use his name to demand protection money from illegal vendors and drivers and operators of public utility vehicles.
The city executive chief said “there is no point conducting continuous clearing operations in the city streets if these unscrupulous individuals are left untouched.”
Borromeo revealed that these protectors “lease out” portions of sidewalks and even valuable road spaces to vendors where they could put up tents and sell their wares, promising that the police and city hall would not touch them.
Illegal terminals that cause traffic congestions have also proliferated because of their protection, Borromeo added.
Borromeo said that they have no choice but to be hard on the illegal vendors saying, “Sinabihan na natin sila na maghihigpit na kami. Talagang ganyan, iligal sila, e. Napagbigyan na sila ni Mayor n’ung December.”
“Kaya medyo balansehin natin ngayon. Nagagalit na ‘yung mga tao, mga motorista at commuters dahil sa trapik at dumi,” Borromeo added. (Betheena Kae Unite)