Proposed cemetery: City legal officer asked for comment on issue

06/22/2011 - Cebu, Philippines - Mayor Michael Rama yesterday ordered Cebu City Legal officer Joseph Bernaldez to make a legal opinion about the controversial plan to build a cemetery in Barangay Kalunasan for members of the Evangelical Christian Coalition of Cebu Inc.

Being a lawyer, Rama explained that while he is willing to abide by the axiom “vox populi, vox dei” or the voice of the people is the voice of God, he said it must be in compliance with the rule of law.

The residents of Kalunasan and some nearby places strongly objected to the plan to allow the Evangelical Christian Coalition of Cebu Inc. to build a cemetery at the lot that was donated to them by the City of Cebu last May.

The property, which is part of the so-called Osmeña Shrine, was donated to the ECCCI, a coalition of 23 non-Catholic churches in Cebu, while Cebu City south district Rep. Tomas Osmeña was still the city mayor.

Osmeña said while in a democratic country the majority will rule, he understands that the minority also has the right to be assisted by the government.

Lahug Councilwoman Mary Ann delos Santos asked the members of the city council to rescind the deed of donation entered into by Osmeña and the ECCCI.

Delos Santos had claimed that the Osmeña Shrine is still part of Lahug and it is subject to the boundary conflict between her barangay and Barangay Kalunasan.

Rama refused to comment on the issue until after he receives the opinion of the city legal office.

It was learned that the homeowners association within the area in Kalunasan are afraid that a cemetery near their place will pose serious health hazards to them. (Freeman)

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