Antique mayor suspended for ordering the cutting of coconut trees without permit

Posted on August 10, 2017

MAYOR GENEVIVE Lim-Reyes of Caluya, Antique has been suspended for six months by the Office of the Ombudsman for ordering the cutting down of coconut trees in 2014 without permit from the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) as mandated by law. In a statement, the Ombudsman said Ms. Reyes is guilty of grave abuse of authority as the directive to clear and level the land had no legal basis. The clearing operation was on a five-hectare coconut farmland intended for a housing project to relocate residents from Sitio Sabang to Sitio Poocan. The Ombudsman said Ms. Reyes failed to present any application from the PCA and did not have a municipal council resolution supporting the housing project. In July 2014, the Commission on Human Rights requested the mayor to halt all relocation, eviction and demolition due to lack of proper and adequate consultation with the affected residents.