[Press release]Urban poor greet PNoy with picket, call for moratorium on demolitions- Partido ng Mangagawa

Urban poor members of the Alyansa ng Maralitang Pilipino (AMP) and the Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) greeted President Benigno Aquino with a picket as he attended an activity of the local government of Paranaque. Some 100 AMP and PM members in Paranaque positioned themselves in front of the Paranaque City hall as early as 7:30 a.m. today, chanted slogans and held placards with the messages “Moratorium sa Demolisyon at Ebiksyon, Ipatupad!” and “Marahas na Demolisyon at Ebiksyon, Ipatigil!”

AMP is a coalition of urban poor organization in Metro Manila, Southern Tagalog and Central Luzon that is campaigning for a moratorium on demolitions, reforms in the housing policy and housing security of informal settlers.

Ed Casuy, leader of the AMP-Paranaque, said that “We appeal to PNoy to make good on his campaign promise that he will declare a moratorium on demolitions and evictions. This is a promise that has remained unfulfilled to this day. Everyday that PNoy delays implementing a moratorium, more urban poor fall victim to illegal and violent demolitions and evictions.”

Casuy revealed that as recently as March 30 a violent demolition happened at the community of Cherry East Cul de Sac in Barangay Sun Valley, Paranaque that led to the injury of an old woman. “This is a private land inhabited by informal settlers who were illegally evicted without the processes required by law,” he clarified.

Another demolition occurred at the back of the Lorenzana area at the Coastal Road in San Dionisio, Paranaque. Some 19 families were illegally evicted by the Philippine Reclamation Authority, the former Public Estates Authority. The urban poor of Cherry East and back of Lorenzana both plan to file cases at the Commission on Human Rights. Casuy insisted that more communities of informal settlers are under threat of demolition.

He explained that “All these demolitions and evictions are happening due to the fact that a draft executive order for a moratorium remains unsigned by PNoy. The more that PNoy delays signing the draft moratorium order, the more urban poor with be denied the right to decent and secure housing. Akala naming kami ang boss ni PNoy pero bakit wala siyang aksyon sa aming kahilingan at di niya tinototoo ang kanyang pangako?”

AMP and PM were participants in a consultation process initiated by a task force on housing headed by Secretary Jesse Robredo of the Department of Interior and Local Government. An output of the consultation process was an executive summary of urban poor demands and a draft order instituting a moratorium that has been forwarded to Malacanang.

“Are vested interests with connections to key officials of PNoy blocking the draft moratorium order? Or has PNoy himself turned his back on his promise to the urban poor? The urban poor will not stop hounding PNoy in order to know the answer,” Casuy asked.

April 4, 2011
Partido ng Manggagawa


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