Joe III saves vendors from ‘Super’ extortion

ILOILO City Mayor Jose Espinosa III inspects the fish section of the Iloilo Terminal Market on May 8, 2019.

ILOILO City Mayor Jose Espinosa III saved fish vendors from the supposed large-scale extortion activities plaguing the Iloilo Terminal Market or ‘Super’ for quite some time.

Espinosa on Wednesday turned over 50 tables to fish vendors to keep them safe and free from extortion rackets by unscrupulous market “sharks” who feed on their already meager income.

Espinosa spent P130,000 of his own money to provide tables for the affected vendors.

Hailed as their “Super” hero, the vendors were thankful to Espinosa for saving them from costly fees that cut their small daily income.

Espinosa responded and addressed the vendors’ concerns as they can no longer bear the brunt of additional under-the-table fees being collected daily in the guise of table rentals.

The vendors have been suffering from exorbitant fees when in fact the tables should be free-of-charge as in the case of the public market.

Espinosa had an extended stay at the market to investigate the vendors’ plight after they found the courage to expose the irregularities.

Complainants pointed to Punong Barangays Alain Rey Depatillo of Rizal Pala-Pala I and Noel Soliman of Rizal Pala-Pala II, City Proper district as the brains of the alleged racket. The two had denied the charges.

The vendors were burdened by daily charges of P50 for each table, P15 for electricity and P10 for the tent.

Their complaints have been brought to the attention of the National Bureau of Investigation.