The mayor of Sevilla, Juliet Dano, has accused the neighboring town of Balilihan of trespassing and vandalizing the fence of Bugwak Spring Water Pump, where Sevilla has a bulk water supply project.
In an interview with Bohol media, Mayor Dano said that she received a complaint from one of the caretakers of Bugwak Spring, Alex Landungan, who reported that around 14 people from Balilihan LGU, accompanied by police officers, allegedly destroyed the fence and attempted to install another pumping unit in the area.
Mayor Dano said this was not the first time that Balilihan interfered with Sevilla’s water project, which she said has a permit from the National Water Resources Board (NWRB).
She said that she previously removed a 100-horsepower pump that Balilihan installed at the second extraction point in Barangay Magsaysay, which is under Sevilla’s jurisdiction.
Dano revealed that after removing the pump, she fenced off the area to prevent further intrusion, but Balilihan ignored the boundary and tried to replace the pump with another one.
She said that she was not sure if the people who trespassed were staff of Balilihan LGU, but they were definitely from the town and had police escort.
Dano bared that she immediately called the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Army detachment in Barangay Magsaysay to respond to the incident.
The mayor also contacted Richli Water Corporation, which owns some of the land near Bugwak Spring, and the provincial government for assistance.
She said that she was unable to talk to Governor Aris Aumentado, who had earlier written a letter to NWRB asking Balilihan to secure a permit for their waterworks project, but received no action from them.
She said that the Provincial Legal Office advised her to take legal action based on the documents she had, but she would wait until today to decide on the next steps.
Mayor Dano expressed her disappointment and frustration over Balilihan’s lack of coordination and respect for Sevilla’s rights and jurisdiction.
Dano said that Balilihan had been taking maneuvers during the night or day without informing Sevilla, forcing her to assign caretakers in Bugwak Spring.
She said that she was willing to share the water of Bugwak Spring with Balilihan, but they had to ask for permission and follow the proper procedures.