BY ROGER M. BALANZA
The controversial Queensland Motel in Davao City at the center of public controversy in 2008 for its 30-foot statue of a naked King David standing on an illegally-reclaimed foreshore area has been revived.
Four years after the public ruckus over Queensland Motel's Baywalk and the naked statue of the young David with its 2-foot long uncircumsised penis that sparked public discussion on morality and decency, the Davao City Council has tackled anew the illegal construction and reclamation of the popular motel owned by Teodorico Adarna in Times Beach in Matina Aplaya.
The Baywalk now already completed and opened as a public seaside park has yet to secure a permit from the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) and a foreshore lease agreement from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
The proposed baywalk and Queensland's illegal reclamation, including the 30-foot high gold-painted concrete statue of the young naked David had sparked an investigation by the city council and intense public discussion four years ago.
Moralists say the naked statue assaulted public decency and called for the destruction of the statue built by Adarna at a cost of P300,000.
The PRA and DENR have not yet issued clearances to Queensland, a requirement demanded by the Davao City Council committee on housing, rural and urban development chaired by councilor Arnolfo Cabling.
The case of Queensland and that of Emar's Wavepool also built without permit from PRA and DENR, also in Times Beach, were subject of a recent public hearing by the Cabling committee.