Read the story of the Apo View hotel in Davao City.
Source: Sun Star Manila
Mayor threatens to close Apo View
By Ben O. Tesiorna
DAVAO CITY -- Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte directed the management of Apo View Hotel to order its Korean guests to smoke only in designated areas or face closure.
"Ginagago niyo na ako eh. Sige ko ug yawyaw diri, kamo... At dahil ginagago niyo ako, nakakalalaki na kayo. Kay nakakalalaki na kayo, mag-away na lang 'ta, wala ma'y laing padulngan 'ni (You are making a fool out of me. While I am often reminding residents about the smoking ban, you... And since you are making a fool out of me, you are thus challenging me. We'd better settle this now in a fight because that's where it's going anyway)," Duterte said over his television program "Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa" Sunday morning.
He particularly cited the hotel's Korean guests who, he said, showed no regard for the city's law.
"Ingna ninyo nang mga Koreano (You better tell all those Koreans), if you are in Davao City then follow our laws. Balaod na eh (That's the law)," he said.
He particularly hit Representative Prospero C. Nograles, who is rumored to be the new owner of the hotel.
Duterte appealed to Nograles to immediately take action on these alleged violations or he will be forced to enforce the full force of the law and close the Apo View Hotel for good.
"Kung dili nimo na maundang, sirhan ko nang inyong Apo View. Dugay na gyud kong nagpugong-pugong sa inyuha (If you cannot stop smoking in Apo View, then I will have that closed. I have long restrained myself regarding this)," Duterte said.
The city earlier compelled Apo View Hotel to comply with the anti-smoking ordinance in 2002 through a lawsuit.
When the ordinance was implemented on November 9, 2002, all business establishments were ordered to designate smoking areas and to restrict smoking in areas not designated as such. The Apo View Hotel management picked on a gray area in the ordinance and declared its whole restaurant and bar as its smoking area, to the consternation of the mayor.
The mayor said he is not trying to pick a fight with anyone especially with Nograles. But when it comes to enforcing the law, he said, nobody is above it, not even the Koreans or the businessmen who benefit from them.
"Kung dili ta magkasinabot dinhi (If we cannot come to an understanding here), maybe you should do it in your own time. Huwag lang during my term as mayor. Kung kamo na mayor kamo nay magbuot unsang gusto ninyo buhaton (If you become the mayor, then you can do what you want)," Duterte said.
"Sa sunod inspeksyon kung wala gihapon moy buhaton, magkita na lang ta sa korte. Or kung gusto ninyo, awayon nato ni. Kung wala nay mupalag sa violations ninyo, ako na mismo ang mupalag. Tapuson nato ning storyaha sa akong panahon (In the next inspection, if the hotel management still does not do anything about this then we will just see each other in court. Or, if you want, let's just settle this in a fisticuff. If you think no one is taking a stand against your violation, then I will be the one to do so. We will finish this issue during my term)," the mayor added.
On the other hand, Nograles denied rumors he is the new owner of the Apo View Hotel.
"The mayor was misinformed by his people because we own the Royal House and not the Apo View Hotel. Sonny Pamintuan's family owns the Apo View. Sonny and I are just old and best friends having grown up and studied together, even as room mates, at the Ateneo de Manila Loyola from 1960-63 and barkada and drinking buddies in golf till now. Just very close," Nograles said.
He said he would help by talking with the Pamintuan family on how to solve the problem.
"But the city must formally write the hotel about the specific violations of smoking rules so the hotel management can immediately correct whatever mistakes are being made by them. We will not fight about law infractions. I am a lawmaker not a lawbreaker. He needs to enforce the law as mayor too. Just give them (Apo View) the usual procedural due process and make them explain violations," Nograles said.
Duterte revealed that the influx of Korean visitors in the city, in particular at the Apo View Hotel, does not benefit the City Government at all. He clarified though that he is not against the visit of Korean nationals in the city but said the hotel management must inform them of the laws and they must follow these laws.