Senator Alan Peter Cayetano slammed Makati for its unethical padlocking of EMBO Barangays’ fire station, pointing to a lack of proper handover and failure to inform the City of Taguig about the closure.
“Napaka-delikado ng nangyari na inabandona ng Bureau of Fire ang mga fire station sa EMBO barangays,” Cayetano stated in a Facebook Live broadcast on his official page on Friday, January 5, 2024.
In December last year, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) had promised to transfer the EMBO fire stations to Taguig on January 1, 2024. However, the senator said he discovered that the stations had already been padlocked before the end of 2023 without Makati informing Taguig.
“Nu’ng December 31, nakakandado na pala ang mga fire station, wala tayong kamalay-malay at alam naman po natin, red alert kapag December 31, dahil maraming gumagamit ng mga paputok,” he expressed his dismay.
Cayetano disclosed that he became aware of the situation on New Year’s Day when he and his wife, City of Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano, visited the police stations of Barangays West Rembo and Comembo.
“First day of the year na bumalik ang mga EMBO sa Taguig after decades. Inimbita kami ni Lani sa West Rembo and Comembo at nag-boodle fight kasama ang mga police. Pagtingin namin, sa same compound, nakakandado ang fire station,” he shared.
“I’m very emotional about this, kasi can you imagine, kung may sunog na nangyari diyan, hindi lang po y’ung mga gamit, pati y’ung buhay ng mga tao maaapektuhan,” he added with frustration.
Cayetano said he promptly reached out to the Director of the Bureau of Fire regarding this issue, but to no avail. He learned that the padlocking of the fire station was under the order of Mayor Abby Binay.
“Ipinangako ng director that afternoon na tatanggalin ang kandado at papapasukin na ang BFP ng Taguig. Pagkacheck ko kanina (Friday), wala pa rin. Kahapon nag meeting sila sa City Hall ng Makati. When I talked to DILG Secretary Benhur Abalos earlier, sabi daw ni Mayor Abby, sila daw may-ari nung fire stations,” he explained.
The senator then called out Mayor Binay and questioned the genuineness of her concern for the residents of EMBO now that they are no longer part of Makati.
“You keep saying na mahal na mahal mo ang mga taga EMBO. Then why are you allowing them to suffer? Don’t let them suffer. You put them in danger by padlocking the fire stations,” he said.
Relieved that no significant fire-related incidents occurred in the area especially during the New Year’s celebration, Cayetano committed to investigate the matter further and take the necessary actions.
“I’m going to get to the bottom of this, hindi acceptable sa akin ‘yan,” he said.