It’s final: no Gaisano wet market – Mayor Zubiri

MALAYBALAY CITY  (Bukidnon News Dispatch/13 October) Mayor Ignacio W. Zubiri said it’s final that he will refuse to issue a permit to Gaisano Malaybalay for its request to run a wet market.

Zubiri told Bukidnon News via telephone Wednesday he has made up his mind after meeting one of the owners’ son in law and two mall officials.

He cited that allowing Gaisano to run a wet market would be detrimental to the vendors of the Malaybalay City Public Market.

The mayor belied allegations his decision was influenced by Vice Mayor Victor Aldeguer and the vice mayor’s brother in-law City Councilor Medardo Estaniel, who represents the Association of Barangay Councils in the city council.

“That’s not true. No one can dictate on me,” he said.

Zubiri said his decision to refuse is not to protect any influential family.

“We have decided (against the permit) because it is detrimental to our public market and the meat vendors there,” he added. Zubiri cited four other wet market operators in the city.

Zubiri pronounced in August that the city government cannot allow Gaisano Mall to operate a wet market to the detriment of the meat vendors in the city’s public market.

His decision drew criticism among those who favored the Gaisano wet market in coffee table discussions and even in the internet.

““This decision is an upfront to huge investments poured by Gaisano in the City,” said Facebook user ‘Malaybalay Citizen’, one of the most vocal critics on the issue in the internet.

Describing himself as someone who “will always be vigilant for the good of the City,” he traced Zubiri’s stand allegedly to politics.

“The disapproval reflects the influence of Vice Mayor Aldeguer and Kag. Estaniel in the Sangguniang Panglungsod of the City of Malaybalay, which operate their own Wet Market at Brgy. 5,” he said.

Vice mayor Aldeguer has denied this in a previous interview.

“Let me point out that Gaisano Valencia have their own wet market just beside their public (market),”Malaybalay Citizen added. .

Presently, Gaisano Malaybalay prepared a space intended for the wet market. For now, they used the space at the ground floor adjacent to the grocery area to display fruits, vegetables and processed meat products. As of October 12, the mall does not sell meat and fish.

Zubiri admitted in August that his decision benefits local wet market operators.

“But the most affected will be the meat stall owners in our own public market,” said.

The Gaisano Malaybalay management said then that they respect the decision of the mayor but vowed to appeal the mayor’s decision because “all Gaisano malls have a wet market as part of its sections.

A Gaisano official said their wet market will not be detrimental to local meat vendors as they cater to different target markets.

“Competition will be good to the business,” the source added. (Walter I. Balane/Bukidnon News)

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