VENDORS in Quiapo, Manila yesterday trooped to the barangay hall and harmed the barangay chairman as they resisted reported plans to reorganize vending in the said area.
Police said some 200 vendors, mostly members of the Muslim community, allegedly stormed the barangay hall at around 2 p.m. where Chairman Johnny de la Cruz of Bgy. 307, Zone 30, District III, got punched in the face.
It was learned that the vendors resisted plans by Dela Cruz and the Barangay Council to rearrange the stalls in the area. In the middle of the dialogue, a group, numbering about six led by one Luis “Leo” Madrigal arrived, believed to be also armed.
It was at this point when a punch landed on the face of Dela Cruz, triggering a commotion.
Upon seeing that more vendors were coming in, a brother of Dela Cruz reportedly took a gun and fired twice into the air to stop the vendors.
About 10 minutes later, members of the MPD-SWAT team arrived. This reportedly sent Madrigal’s escorts scampering to different directions.
The entire incident was said to have been caught by a CCTV in the area.
An incident report is yet to be made by the MPD-Station 3 as of this writing.
Dela Cruz, meanwhile, said he merely wanted to maintain orderliness in his barangay since vendors have already occupied nearly all of the sidewalks in the area even as they have gone beyond the required sizes of their stalls.
“Halos dalawang buwan pa lang po ako nahalal sinimulan ko na ang pag-aayos ng kalsada at bangketa na hindi naman po tamang wala nang madaanan ang mamimili at sasakyan na puro extension na lang ng mga vendor. Ito po ay sa pagsasaayos,” Dela Cruz said.
Dela Cruz, meantime, appealed to authorities to support his campaign of clearing the streets of vendors to give the public the opportunity to use them.