Friday, March 13, 2009

Tension at Grand Central in Monumento

13 March 2009

A big number of heavily-armed security guards remained posted yesterday at the gates of the Gotesco Grand Central mall along Rizal Avenue Extension in the Monumento area.  I happened to pass by at around mid-afternoon and even saw some placard-bearing picketers who refused to give any comment when asked by an ABS-CBN lady reporter who arrived in the area.  

Lately, the Grand Central mall has been the scene of a confrontation between City Hall and the mall administration.  The confrontation stemmed from the attempts to serve on the mall's administrator a writ of possession issued by the Caloocan City RTC for Grand Central's alleged failure to settle more than P700 million in tax liabilities. 

I hope the standoff does not lead to anything bloody.  There is simply no sense in all of these posturing.  Things would be better if a public discussion were called and the people informed of what's really happening.  That way, the reasonable people of Caloocan can probably intervene and prevent what is potentially a deadly showdown.  The evening news brought video clips of Atty. Archie Guevarra making accusations against City Hall officials and Caloocan City Mayor Enrico "Recom" Echiverri asking him to name names.

As a footnote, many Filipinos probably still recall that decades ago, the place where the Grand Central mall now stands used to be a school, the Cecilio Apostol Elementary School, where many poblacion residents finished their grade school days.  Now, it's in the news again.  What is it with this place that makes it the center of so much controversy?

Let's pray that reason and sanity prevails and that senseless bloodshed is averted in this surprising development at Grand Central.

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