My E-book, “The Philippines Expat Advisor”, has a section that deals with barangay captains. “Dog Dispute Delivers Dispatch from Barangay Captain” relates a recent visit we had to our own local government unit, LGU. It’s imperative that you have a good relationship with your own local “kapitan.” You never know when you might receive a summons to the local barangay hall.
My asawa and I had just finished our morning merienda. I had my usual two slices of Gardenia High Fiber Whole Wheat Bread slathered with a generous serving of Peter Pan Creamy Peanut Butter with no high fructose corn syrup.
After I wash my bread down with a Marvin the Martian cup of Nescafe Choco Mocha, I’m energized to go until lunch time.
Our dogs began barking at the front gate which is located 350 meters from our home in the Philippines. You don’t need a doorbell at your front gate if you have eight canines like we do.
My asawa went outside to see who was at the gate. I stayed inside by a fan set on the third speed.
After a few minutes I got off my fat kano butt and walked outside to see who was at the gate. My better half was already walking up the path to our front door with a paper in her hand.
What could this be, I wondered? We already had our local electric bill from Guimelco. While we do have a mailbox outside our gate, the only “mail” we usually receive is our Guimelco bill.
We don’t have door-to-door mail delivery on our island province of Guimaras. The electric bill is delivered via a messenger on a motorcycle.
My usual sanguine spouse looked pissed. In her hand was a summons from the local barangay hall to answer a complaint from one of our neighbors. It’s not wise to ignore any summons from your barangay captain. You risk contempt of court if you do and that warning was clearly printed on the summons.
Now I was pissed
Now regular readers of “Philippines Plus” and anyone that knows me personally shouldn’t be surprised to read that I was pissed
A neighbor that didn’t like a property dispute decision two years ago that ruled against them had some issues with our dogs. Our pups love to romp in a muddy field on our property next to the complaining neighbors. I imagine they like to cool down in the water that collects there during the rainy season.
It seems seven of our hounds had raced across a section of fence which had collapsed when a concrete post fell down due to recent heavy rains.
Fortunately, our Belgian Shepard, “Killer”, was inside the spacious dog pen we keep for our pets.
Dog Dispute Delivers Dispatch from Barangay Captain
Now here’s the reason for the summons from our barangay hall. It seems that one of our pups, “Patchy” had attacked one of the neighbor’s canines. “Patch Patch” is a big pooch, second in size on to “Killer.”
My wife and our nephew who was on another school holiday rounded up our dogs. My spouse and I then started repairing the broken fence section along with our nephew. It was the hardest manual labor I had done in months.
My spouse had me cutting down some trees to use as additional fence posts to reinforce the damaged area.
Neighbor Stops By
While we were repairing the fence section an older lady and younger man came by. The woman lived on the property and was one of the complainants in our aforementioned property dispute.
I could not understand a word the woman said as she spoke in the local Ilonggo dialect. The lola (grandma) then told my wife about our two dogs that had attacked one of her pups.
My significant other apologized to the lady and had our nephew bring over a wound spray that we have on hand for our pups. The man that had accompanied the neighbor was her son. My wife believed that the son was visiting from Manila due to the fact that he only spoke in Filipino and not the local language. The son didn’t have much to say.
I genuinely was sorry to hear that one of the woman’s dogs had been attacked by two of ours. It’s difficult when one of our own canines get injured. (We found out later that the dog is thankfully recovering from its injuries.)
Looking for Money?
My asawa believed that the woman was looking for money as she also mentioned that she had been missing some chickens.
Here’s the rub. We’re not responsible for any chickens that come onto our property. We have a fence that completely encircles our lot. If someone is not dependable enough to keep track of their own poultry and let them run loose, then that it is their problem and certainly not mine.
Now, if one of our dogs would have killed one of the neighbor’s chickens when they got loose that afternoon, then we, as the dogs’ owners, are responsible. We would have paid fair market value for any chickens that were dispatched by our mongrels.
Off to the Barangay Hall: Dog Dispute Delivers Dispatch
So instead of coming to us directly, our neighbor, who walked away without any money from us the previous afternoon, had gone to the barangay captain to file a “blotter report.”
A “blotter report” is recorded by the barangay secretary and at the end of the month is forwarded to the police department of our local municipality.
If you find yourself in any kind of dispute in the Philippines, it’s wise to first file a “blotter report” so you have an official record on file.
Though the summons was for the next day, I wasn’t going to wait. My wife said we could go tomorrow morning as noted in the summons.
Of course, I, the impatient American expat, was having none of that. After a quick shower and change of clothes, we hopped into our Aurora blue Ford Ranger and took off for the barangay hall.