The Sangguniang Panlungsod will start its probe on the allegations that mall shoppers were prevented from exiting a local mall during a power interruption.
The city council invited the administration of the City Square Mall during the regular session tomorrow, Monday, March 26, 2018, to shed light on the controversy.
Kag. Augustinus Gonzaga said it is highly irregular for mall guards to prevent people from leaving the premises without legal reason.
He said it might be something akin to violation of the freedom of movement.
Gonzaga manifested on Friday to invite the administration of the mall to shed light on the matter.
The controversy came about when some of the mall goers brought the issue in a radio program more than a week ago.
The radio reporter and other witnesses were invited to tomorrow’s session of the Sangguniang Panglungsod.
It was learned the shoppers were held inside the mall for nearly an hour.
The city council has a particular interest since the City Square Mall is the city’s property and the merchants are merely leasing the property.
The mall used to be a public market was left for dead for several years.
Gonzaga said the councilors are unaware of the policies of the mall regarding the ingress and egress of mall-goers during power interruptions.
A source said such policy could be a dangerous thing since it might cause undue injury to people especially to the elderly and those with chronic ailments.
Gonzaga, a lawyer, pointed out the policy of the mall is highly unusual and could spark legal questions.
He said only the courts have the power to incarcerate people.
For this reason, the council wants to probe the reason why the people were disallowed to exit the mall during the power interruption that happened right after lunchtime.
The councilor said he wanted to know what the basis for the curtailment of the movement of the shoppers is.
He said there could be problems when emergencies arise and the mall shoppers are unable to move out of the mall.
Gonzaga was told that the incident hadbeen reported to City Administrator Leonides “Edi” Borja, but apparently, there was no reaction.
He wants to know whether the reasons have a legal basis.
The councilor wants to know whether the rights of the mall shoppers were violated or not during the alleged mall lockdown.
Gonzaga is also looking at the possible criminal liability of the mall administrators for having such policies that restrict the constitutional right of people to move freely. (Dave S. Albarado)