Defeated mayoral candidate padlocks school

Edwin G. Espejo
in Barangay Ilaya in Glan, Sarangani, the Esther Yap Elementary School has been locked out -- blame it on a defeated mayoralty candidate

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines – It is opening day of classes on Monday, June 3, and parents are eagerly waiting what happens when their children go to school.

But in Barangay Ilaya in Glan, Sarangani, the Esther Yap Elementary School has been locked out. Blame it on a defeated mayoralty candidate who again lost to his younger brother in the May 13 elections.

In a report by ABS-CBN TV Patrol Socsksargen, former Glan mayor Enrique ‘Yoyong’ Yap Jr reportedly padlocked the gates after serving notice in December that he is taking back the lot where the school now stands.

Some 400 elementary pupils are going to miss classes if Yap and the faculty of the school cannot resolve the row.

A parent appealed to Yap to spare the school from the row between him and his brother Mayor Victor James ‘Tata’ Yap who was recently re-elected mayor of the town.

Bernadette Tabanao, a parent, said the children will be affected by the closure of the school.

The Esther Yap Elementary School was built in 2007 when Enrique Jr was still mayor of Glan. The lot where the public school stands is reportedly owned by the elder Yap, who denied executing a deed of donation.

The former mayor was undefeated until he served out his third consecutive 3-year terms in 2010.

Sarangani division schools supervisor Ma. Shirley Cardinal however allayed fears of parents, saying they are in possession of a deed of donation.

Cardinal said she has already sought the assistance of police for today’s class opening.

Yap hanged a ‘no trespassing’ notice at the gates Thursday last week (May 30), forcing teachers to hold enrollment outside the school premises.

Glan, one of the oldest towns in the then undivided Cotabato empire, has been ruled by the Yaps whose late father Enrique Sr was a long time mayor during martial law period.

The brothers Yap had a falling out in 2010 when they ran against each other.

Enrique Jr fielded his wife despite alleged agreement between him and his siblings to yield the mayoralty seat to brother Victor James.

Enrique Jr also ran for vice mayor against his sister Dr. Vivien Yap. He and his wife, however, both lost.

He again ran this year but suffered another defeat from his younger brother.

Re-elected Glan Mayor Victor James Yap is an ally of Rep. Manny Pacquiao. –

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