BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – A staff of the Tourism Office in the neighboring city of Silay has filed a complaint for alleged 24 counts of violating a tree protection law against former city Vice Mayor Joedith Gallego who is challenging sitting Mayor Mark Andrew Golez.
Joval Catanghal, who identified himself as a “private complainant,” alleged in his complaint filed before the Silay City Prosecutor’s Office yesterday, 18 March 2022 that Gallego violated Republic Act 3571 and Presidential Decree 953 at least 24 times for nailing his campaign materials to trees along the public road.
“The acts of JOEDITH GALLEGO of placing, fixing and nailing his election campaign materials to the injury of the growing trees along the public road are clear violation of REPUBLIC ACT No. 3571 and PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 953, hence punishable (emphasis by Catanghal),” he said in the complaint.
He also quoted provisions of the law also known as “An Act to Prohibit the Cutting, Destroying or Injuring of Planted or Growing Trees, Flowering Plants and Shrubs or Plants of Scenic Value Along Public Roads, in Plazas, Parks, School Premises or in Any Other Public Pleasure Ground” that were allegedly violated by Gallego.
A publicist of Golez sent DNX a copy of the three-page complaint and identified Catanghal in an accompanying message as a staff of the Tourism office.
He claimed Gallego committed violations by “placing, fixing and nailing his election campaign materials on the growing trees along the public road, National Highway, fronting Seaview Subdivision, Brgy. Guinhalaran, Silay City, Negros Occidental are clear acts of injuring these trees without reasonable and valid grounds but only for his own personal interest…”
Gallego has not yet replied to DNX when sought for comment as this story was published.