Last Thursday, April 30, at past 2 p.m., action superstar Robin Padilla appeared before the Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 42 for the arraignment on a violation of the national building code.
It was back in 2005 when the local officials of Brgy. West Fairview filed a case against Robin for adding an extension on his home at Maple Street, Brgy. West Fairview without a building permit. The said extension was turned into a school, Liwanag ng Kapayapaan Foundation, Inc.
In an interview with Startalk, Robin expressed his concern over the case. He said, "Ako po ay naidemanda sapagkat may kababayan tayo na gusto nila ipasara nila ang ating eskwelahan. Siguro po na isa 'yon na ayaw nila ng mga Muslim doon, pero gusto ko po iparating na hindi lang po Muslim doon sa Liwanag kundi mayroon din po kaming Kristiyano."
Last February, Robin filed for bail on the said case, and last Thursday, he pleaded not guilty in front of presiding Judge Catherine Manodon of the Q.C. MTC. "Matagal na po kaming nakikipag-usap," Robin said, referring to the talks he had with the local authorities of Brgy. West Fairview. "Noon pa maraming request sa kanila, pakiusap, consultation... Lahat po 'yan, ginawa namin."
Robin's legal counsel, Atty. Patricio Tampingco Jr., added, "They said there were no papers, documents in order to pursue construction... But actually, we complied na."
Barangay Chariman Jose Arnel Quebal said that they got complaints from Brgy. West Fairview's homeowners, so, he forwarded the complaint to the right officials.
"Since na ako naman ang punong-barangay at mayroon naman talagang probable cause to warrant the violation, e, pagka may nagtatayo, e, dapat may Barangay Clearance at kumuha ng building permit. Since nag-construct na walang proper building permit, e, ayon sa ating National Building Code, it is a violation," explained Jose.
DISCRIMINATION? Robin didn't want to think about discrimination against Muslims in West Fairview and he doesn't want to think that it was the main reason for people wanting to close down his school.
"Hindi naman natin sila masisisi, sa kanilang napapanood at naririnig," said Robin. "Pero ang aming pakiusap, e, wala pong katotohanan yung maaaring masasama sa kanilang naririnig tungkol sa mga muslim. 'Yan po ay wala sa katuruan. Ang sinasabi po nila na dadami ang akyat-bahay doon, dadami ang masamang mangyayari, e, mula po noong itinatag ang aming eskwelahan, ay wala naman nabalitaan akyat-bahay o terorista doon."
Jose Quebal denied that discrimination exists in their barangay. "Hindi siguro 'yon. Wala lang consent regarding doon at walang tamang pag-uusap," he said.