Tag Archives: demolition

[Urgent Appeal] Recent demolition and pending relocation of residents of Radial Road 10 North Bay Boulevard, Navotas City -TFDP

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URGENT APPEAL

July 7, 2015

(PHILIPPINES) Recent demolition and pending relocation of residents of Radial Road 10 North Bay Boulevard, Navotas City

ISSUES: The right to an adequate standard of living; right to adequate housing, right to water

Dear friends,

Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) writes to inform you about the recent demolition and pending relocation of residents of Radial Road 10 (R10) North Bay Boulevard, Navotas City.

TFDP logo small

CASE DETAILS:

On June 30, 2015 at around 9:00 in the morning, residents of R10 North Bay Boulevard, Navotas City were taken by surprise as teams from the National Housing Authority (NHA), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Navotas Local Government and the hired demolition group started destroying their houses.

According to Anecita Sison, Secretary of the Purok R10 North Bay Boulevard North Neighborhood Association, Inc. and one of the residents there, a dialogue was set up between NHA, DPWH and the representative residents of R10 last June 1, 2015 regarding the impending demolition and the residents’ request for more time to relocate.  The dialogue ended with an agreement to continue the talks and with no word on the finality of the demolition schedule.

Some of the residents were still sleeping peacefully and others were at work when the demolition team started destroying the houses. Some residents were hurt as they panicked to gather their belongings and hurry out of the way of falling debris. Allegedly, some members of the demolition team stole properties of some of the residents. After the demolition, items like shoes and small things were unaccounted for. One member of the demolition team even allegedly snatched a watch from a resident’s wrist and did not return it.

Residents also reported that some members of the demolition team were violent towards the residents, pushing, threatening to hit and swinging at the pleading residents with their demolition tools such as hammers and crowbars. Items in stores owned by residents were also taken, along with the wood and galvanized iron sheets from their houses. Although the residents have requested for at least their store goods, these were still not returned. Some residents were also allegedly threatened with detention if they did not evacuate the demolition site immediately.

The residents are to be relocated in Pandi, Bulacan, which according to them is far from schools or markets; the temperature is too hot for a comfortable living owing to the large population of previously relocated informal settlers; the drinking water is from a water pump or poso; and the place is unsafe with crimes becoming more rampant recently.

Presently, the residents are staying in makeshift tents along the bridge of R10, which was given as a “staging area” or a temporary place the residents could stay before they are relocated.

CASE BACKGROUND:

The planned road widening project, demolition and relocation was first announced in 2010 and steps were taken immediately the following year. Upon finding that the relocation site was in Pandi, Bulacan, the residents led by the North Bay Boulevard North Neighborhood Association, Inc. drafted a People’s Plan – a proposal for acquiring a land more suitable for the relocation of R10 residents.

Via ocular, the North Bay Boulevard North Neighborhood Association, Inc. found a privately owned land in Norzagaray, Bulacan which is near the highway, schools, market and has electricity and water. The 4.6-hectare land is sufficient space to comfortably house 1,500 families.

Officers of the association held a meeting with the residents to inform them of the plan. The plan was approved by all and negotiations between the association and the owner started. The land is priced 37 million with a down payment of 7 Million. The association also made a way to come up with the money for buying the land. They asked assistance from different government agencies such as National Housing Authority (NHA), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP), Department of Interioe and Local Government (DILG), Commission on Human Rights  (CHR), Foundation for the Development of the Urban Poor (FDUP), and Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC), the latter granting loans for buying the proposed land.

SHFC allegedly could loan the residents 450,000 per family granted that they submit all the necessary requirements including the signed approval of the Norzagaray LGU for the relocation of the residents. This document should be a communication between Navotas and Norzagaray LGUs but allegedly, the Navotas LGU has not and continues not to help the residents.

In 2010, the LGU conducted a census tagging to determine the number of families that will be affected by DPWH’s road widening project. Nine hundred (900) families were identified at the time and listed.

The actual demolition happened this year, 2015, where according to Purok R10 North Bay Boulevard North Neighborhood Association, Inc., the last population estimate was 1,500 families. According to the residents, they were informed that the 2010 data would be the one used as basis for the distribution of financial aid. Since the LGU will only recognize the 900 families initially tagged, 600 families or an estimated 3,500 persons will not receive government aid and are at risk of not being recognized as claimants for relocation.

Up until now, the residents still cannot claim the promised aid because of the numerous requirements such as birth certificates of each of the family members, two valid I.D.s, marriage certificate, police clearance, barangay clearance, etc.

The residents complain that they have been passed around from DPWH to NHA to LGU when they sought dialogues and proposed plans for moving the residents.

REQUESTED ACTION:

PLEASE SEND LETTERS TO THE CONCERNED GOVERNMENT AGENCIES TO BRING TO THEIR KNOWLEDGE THE INJUSTICE SUFFERED BY THE RESIDENTS OF R10 NAVOTAS DURING THE DEMOLITION AND TO ENSURE AND GUARANTEE THAT THEY RECEIVE DUE ASSISTANCE FROM ALL CONCERNED.

Thank you.
Task Force Detainees of the Philippines

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear _____________,

Greetings!

This is to express my grave concern regarding the recent demolition and pending relocation of residents of Radial Road 10 North Bay Boulevard, Navotas City.

I have learned that the residents’ houses have been demolished and that they are currently staying in makeshift tents along the bridge of R10 and that that during this demolition, many of the residents allegedly experienced harassment.

I have learned of the residents’ concerns regarding the planned relocation area in Pandi, Bulacan and their efforts to find a more suitable replacement which is safer, and would have all the means for comfortable and healthy living.

I have also learned that the community’s initiative in acquiring their proposed relocation area has been taken lightly and that they have not been given proper assistance despite their efforts to have dialogues and to work with different concerned agencies.

I am writing to ask for immediate action in favor of the residents of the Radial Road 10 North Bay Boulevard, Navotas City:

1.            For the security and safety of the residents.

2.            For the immediate and impartial investigation on the alleged harassments experienced by the residents under the demolition team.

3.            For the residents be given proper assistance in their initiative (People’s Plan).

Thank you.

Respectfully yours,

_______________________

PLEASE SEND LETTERS TO:

1.      His Excellency Benigno Simeon Aquino III
President, Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace, JP Laurel Street,
San Miguel, Manila1005 Philippines
Tel: +6327356201/5641451 to 80
Email: corres@op.gov.ph/opnet@ops.gov.ph

2.      Secretary Rogelio L. Singson
Department of Public Works and Highways
Bonifacio Drive Port Area, Manila, Philippines
Tel.:+632-304-3300
Email: singson.rogelio@dpwh.gov.ph

3.      Secretary Manuel A. Roxas II
Department of Interior and Local Government
EDSA corner, Quezon Avenue, Diliman,
Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Tel.: 925-0030; 925-0331; 925-0332 Fax
Email: mar@marroxas.com

4.      General Manager Atty. Chito M. Cruz
National Housing Authority
Elliptical Road, Diliman, Quezon City
Philippines
Tel.: 921-7828; 922-2460; 9222058 Fax

5.      Secretary Jose Eliseo M. Rocamora
National Anti-Poverty Commission
Water System Training Center,
Local Water Utilities Administration,
MWSS-LWUA Complex, Katipunan Avenue,
Quezon City 1105 Philippines
Tel.: 927-9816 / 426-3652 / 426-5249 (telefax) Local Lines: 127 / 148 / 141
Email: info@napc.gov.ph

6.      Chairman/CEO Hon. HERNANI B. PANGANIBAN
Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor
4th floor, DHC Bldg. 1115 EDSA,
Project 7, Quezon City
1105 Philippines
Telefax:  (02) 410-46-91

7.      Mayor John Reynald M. Tiangco
LOCAL GOVERNMENT NAVOTAS
Tel.: (632)281-8602; 281-8861 F
Email: http://www.navotas.gov.ph

8.       Mayor Alfredo DG. Germar
LOCAL GOVERNMENT NORZAGARAY, BULACAN
Municipal Government of Norzagaray, Bulacan
Norzagaray, Bulacan 3013 Philippines
Tel.: +63(44) 694-7950

9.      Commission on Human Rights (CHR)
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue,
U.P. Complex, Diliman, Quezon City,
Philippines
Tel: +63 2 928 5655, +63 2 926 6188
Fax: +63 2 929 0102

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Urgent Appeal] Four members of a local community organization were arrested and suffered injuries during a forced eviction

URGENT APPEAL

March 14, 2014

(PHILIPPINES) Four members of a local community organization were arrested and suffered injuries during a forced eviction

ISSUES: Human Rights Defenders; Arbitrary Arrest and Detention; Forced Eviction; Harassment; Physical Injuries; Abuse of Authority
_____________________________________________

Dear friends,

The Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) is forwarding to you an appeal regarding the arbitrary arrest of four human rights defenders who also suffered injuries during a forced eviction in Muntinlupa City.

TFDP logo small

If you wish to make any inquiries please contact the Research, Documentation and Information Program of TFDP. Kindly email tfdp.1974@gmail.com or tfdp.urgentappeals@gmail.com or call +632 4378054.
_____________________________________________

Case Title: HRD Muntinlupa
Cases: Arbitrary Arrest and Detention; Forced Eviction; Harassment; Physical Injuries; Abuse of Authority
Name of Victims: Dondito Albasin, Sr., 56; Michael Poticar, 39; Alberto Jojo Llantada, 21; Virgina Barrios,28
Date of Incident: March 12, 2014
Place of Incident: Kilometer 23 West Service Road, Barangay Cupang, Muntinlupa City
Alleged Perpetrators: Police Senior Inspector Jocelyn V. Carino (male); a certain Major Salvadora (female) alleged police intelligence Aguirre
Motive: Obstruction of Justice
______________________________________________

Account of the Incident:

Four members of a local community organization were arrested and suffered injuries during a forced eviction of around 21 families last March 12, 2014, 8:00am, in Muntinlupa City.

Dondito Albasin, Sr., 56; Michael Poticar, 39; Alberto Jojo Llantada, 21; Virgina Barrios,28, were arrested arbitrarily and charged with obstruction of justice by the police.

Before they were arrested at around 8:30am, Albasin the current president of the neighborhood association (affiliated with the national organization of ‘urban-poor’ communities named, Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng mga Maralitang taga-Lungsod),   together with other officers and residents of Kilometer 23 West Service Road in Barangay Cupang, were negotiating with the demolition team and the police to postpone the eviction of houses of around 21 from the 125 families living within the 4,500 square meter lot. Albasin asserted that they already talked and discussed the matter with the city officials and representatives of the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP). Albasin claimed that based on agreement, authorities allowed them to have an ample time to prepare for their eventual relocation. In fact according to Albasin, all stakeholders agreed that the demolition will push through on April 7, 2014.

The team headed by Court Sheriff Felix Falcotelo insisted that the demolition should proceed apparently since Judge Restituto V. Mangalindan, Jr. of the Metropolitan Trial Court (MTC) branch 80 previously issued an order for settlers to vacate the premises, and has decided the case in favour of the supposed land owner, a certain Mr. Marcelo Rubio.

While the negotiation still ongoing, several stones and debris were thrown by unidentified persons at the location where the said dialogue was being held. At that very moment, the police around 200 of them including members of the Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) which were carrying automatic rifles reacted aggressively which started the violence, according to the residents.

Albasin was grabbed by his shoulders and shirt by police officers and pushed towards the pavement. He was kicked on his legs. Another police hit Albasan using the muzzle of the rifle to his chest and armpit. Llantada on the other hand was punched on his lips and hit using a hard object at the back of the head. Meanwhile, Poticar was pulled and held inside a police patrol car where he was beaten by an intelligence officer, said by witnesses. Barrios (Virginia) while pacifying and calming her parents, was grabbed and pulled by a police. She fainted during the scuffle. The four of them were handcuffed and brought to the Muntinlupa City police station at around 10am.

Several other residents were hurt and also suffered injuries when the police grabbed and pushed them indiscriminately. They were punched, kicked and hit with truncheons. They are: Marvin Sua, Regie Focbit, Robert Villanueva, Jayfe Celeste, Bryan Asmolo, Roger L. Barrios, Buboy De Lima, Limney Barrios, Dondino Albasin, Joan Liantada, Ailene Brovo, and Thelma Brovo.

The video camera owned by Clarissa Lanohan being used to document the incident was confiscated by the police without any reason and has not been returned.

According to the victims, most of the police had no name tags for their identification. They only identified a few including female officer named Major Salvadora, (who apparently was the field commander at that time), Aguirre (known as a police intelligence agent who pointed a gun at Roger L. Barrios) and Police Senior Inspector Jocelyn V. Carino (male).

With their hammers, crow bars and mallets, the demolition crew eventually started the tearing down of shanties but exceeded to other houses installed not covered with the supposed court order.

Upon Intervention

At the Police station, Albasin, Poticar, Llantada and Barrios were first brought to the intelligence section office, but were later on transferred to the investigation unit. According to them, they were not given food nor allowed to buy for themselves. Until, the staff of Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) came at 3:30pm and bought them food for their late lunch.

The TFDP staff requested several police officers including Police Senior Inspector Carino to remove the handcuffs of Albasin, Poticar, Llantada and Barrios, for them to properly and easily eat their meal. TFDP staff insisted that the four are not criminals and guaranteed that they will not escape from the police station if their handcuffs were removed.   However, all of them ignored and refused. Instead, Police Senior Inspector Carino scolded and instructed Albasin, Poticar, Llantada and Barrios to use their “free hand”. The police only removed their handcuffs around 10:00pm. Small abrasion markings were seen due to tight handcuffs made.

Early on, the TFDP staff pleaded for the provisional release of Albasin, Poticar, Llantada and Barrios since there were no complainants and their case has not been recorded yet.  The police denied the request. They maintained that arresting officers will be back soon to formally file the charges against the four.

TFDP staff reminded the duty officers that based on Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code, arrested person(s) shall be presented for some legal ground to the proper judicial authorities within the periods of twelve (12) hours. TFDP staff added that penalties shall be imposed upon police officer who will fail to do so. But again they ignored.

Their case was only booked past 10:00pm. Later on they were brought inside a detention cell.

The inquest only proceeded the following day March 13, 2014 and a case of obstruction of justice is filed against the four.

SUGGESTED ACTION:
Please write a letter to the following authorities, calling on them to initiate inquiries into these cases particularly the forced eviction of families, arbitrary arrest of Dondito Albasin, Sr., Michael Poticar, Alberto Jojo Llantada, Virgina Barrios, and the flagrant abused of authority by the police.

SAMPLE LETTER

I am writing to draw your attention to the forced eviction of families located at Kilometer 23 West Service Road Muntinlupa City, the arbitrary arrest of human rights defenders namely: 1) Dondito Albasin, Sr., 2) Michael Poticar, 3) Alberto Jojo Llantada, 4) Virgina Barrios, the injuand the flagrant abused of authority by the police in the conduct of their duty.

According to the report I have received at around 8:30am, Albasin the current president of the neighborhood association together with other officers and residents were negotiating with the demolition team and the police to postpone the eviction of houses of around 21 from the 125 families living within the 4,500 square meter lot located at Kilometer 23 West Service Road in Barangay Cupang, Muntinlupa City. Albasin asserted that they already talked and discussed the matter with the city officials and representatives of the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP). Albasin claimed that based on agreement, authorities allowed them to have an ample time to prepare for their eventual relocation. In fact according to Albasin, all stakeholders agreed that the demolition will push through on April 7, 2014.

But the team headed by Court Sheriff Felix Falcotelo insisted that the demolition should proceed apparently since Judge Restituto V. Mangalindan, Jr. of the Metropolitan Trial Court (MTC) branch 80 previously issued an order for settlers to vacate the premises, and has decided the case in favour of the supposed land owner, a certain Mr. Marcelo Rubio.

While the negotiation was still ongoing, several stones and debris were thrown by unidentified persons at the location where the said dialogue was being held. At that very moment, the police around 200 of them including members of the Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) which were carrying automatic rifles reacted aggressively which started the violence, according to the residents.

Albasin was grabbed by his shoulders and shirt by police officers and pushed towards the pavement. He was kicked on his legs. Another police hit Albasan, using the muzzle of the rifle, on his chest and armpit. Llantada on the other hand was punched on his lips and hit using a hard object at the back of the head. Meanwhile, Poticar was pulled and held inside a police patrol car where he was beaten by an intelligence officer, said witnesses. Barrios (Virginia) while pacifying and calming her parents, was grabbed and pulled by a police. She fainted during the scuffle. The four of them were handcuffed and brought to the Muntinlupa City police station at around 10am.

Several other residents were hurt and also suffered injuries when the police grabbed and pushed them indiscriminately. They were punched, kicked and hit with truncheons. They are: Marvin Sua, Regie Focbit, Robert Villanueva, Jayfe Celeste, Bryan Asmolo, Roger L. Barrios, Buboy De Lima, Limney Barrios, Dondino Albasin, Joan Liantada, Ailene Brovo, and Thelma Brovo.

I have also learned that on the first day that they were detained Albasin, Poticar, Llantada and Barrios were not offered food and water, nor allowed to buy for themselves until the staff of Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) came at 3:30pm and bought them food for their late lunch.

The TFDP staff requested several police officers including Police Senior Inspector Carino to remove the handcuffs of Albasin, Poticar, Llantada and Barrios, for them to properly and easily eat their meal. However, all of them ignored and refused. Instead, Police Senior Inspector Carino scolded and instructed Albasin, Poticar, Llantada and Barrios to use their “free hand”.

It was also brought to TFDP staff attention that the police only removed their handcuffs around 10:00pm. Small abrasion markings are seen due to tight handcuffs made.

Furthermore, TFDP staff reminded the duty officers that based on Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code, arrested person(s) shall be presented for some legal ground to the proper judicial authorities within the period of twelve (12) hours. TFDP staff added that penalties shall be imposed upon police officer who will fail to do so. But again they ignored.

Their case was only booked and recorded past 10:00pm. Later on they were brought inside detention cell. The inquest only proceeded the following day March 13, 2014 and a case of obstruction of justice is filed against the four.

We now urge you to call upon competent authorities to carry out a prompt, effective, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into these events, and ensure that adequate, effective and prompt action and reparation, is granted to the victims.

Concerned authorities must be reminded that they should strictly observe the Urban Development and Housing Act or UDHA (Republic Act 7279) that lays down the mandatory requirements for the valid execution of eviction and demolition orders, including the conduct of a sincere dialogue to resolve disputes peacefully.

And lastly, the government must guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards.

I look forward to your urgent action is this case.

Yours sincerely,
————————————————
PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:
1. President Benigno Simeon Aquino III
Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace
JP Laurel Street, San Miguel, Manila 1005
Philippines
Fax: +63 2 736 1010
Tel: +63 2 735 6201 / 564 1451 to 80
Email: corres@op.gov.ph / opnet@ops.gov.ph

2. Vice President Jejomar C. Binay
Chairperson
Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC)
BDO Plaza, 8737 Paseo De Roxas St, Makati City
Philippines
Fax: +63 2 811 4158
Tel: +63 2 812 8870 / +63 2 811 4168
Email: info@hudcc.gov.ph

3. Atty. Chito M. Cruz
General Manager
National Housing Authority (NHA)
Elliptical Road, Diliman, 1100, Quezon City
Fax: +63 2 921 2530
Tel: +632 921 7828 / +63 2 922 2460
Website: http://www.nha.gov.ph

4. Chairperson Loretta Ann P. Rosales
Commission on Human Rights (CHR)
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
U.P. Complex, Diliman
Quezon City
Philippines
Tel: +63 2 928 5655, +63 2 926 6188
Fax: +63 2929 0102
Email: rosales.chr@gmail.com

5. Police Director General Alan LA Madrid Purisima
Chief, Philippine National Police
Camp General Rafael Crame
Quezon City, Philippines
Fax: +63 2 724 8763/ +63 2 723 0401
Tel: + 63 2 726 4361/4366/8763
Email: feedback@pnp.gov.ph

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[Statement] Stop demolition in Barangay Luz, uphold the poor’s right to shelter -Cebu Solidarity with the Urban Poor

Stop demolition in Barangay Luz, uphold the poor’s right to shelter

The Cebu Solidarity with the Urban Poor appeals to Cebu City Councilor Nida Cabrera who is also the Homeowners’ Association President of one of the sitios with households to be demolished on September 24, 2012, to dialogue with the affected households.

The 32 households have expressed that they are willing to sit down with the Homeowners Associations of Sitios Nangka, Lubi and Mabuhay in Barangay Luz, Cebu City so that their differences can be ironed out; and a peaceful resolution to the land/housing program problem will be settled through dialogue.

The Solidarity reiterates that all demolitions of dwellings of poor families can never be peaceful. Rendering our brothers and sisters homeless is always violent. Violation of the right to shelter of poor families is always violent.

We pray that all of us in the community will see in our poor brothers and sisters, the face of our Lord Jesus Christ who said, “Whatever you did for the least of my brothers and sisters, you did it for me. (Matthew 25:40)”

Jesus was born in a manger because there was no more room in the inn. Through demolitions, we are sending Jesus once more into the manger.

For reference:

FR. VICENTE DAYAO
Spokesperson
Cebu Solidarity with the Urban Poor
Tel. No. 262-1140
Email: cebusolidarityurbanpoor@yahoo.com

Cebu Solidarity with the Urban Poor
A solidarity of concerned individuals and organizations opposing Cebu urban poor demolitions

PRESS STATEMENT
September 21, 2012

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[Press Release] Metro Manila urban poor groups demand suspension of demolitions -KAMP

Metro Manila urban poor groups demand suspension of demolitions

In the face of an increased number of community demolitions and violent confrontations, some 500 members of urban poor groups in Metro Manila trooped to Mendiola this morning to demand that President Benigno Aquino III issue an Executive Order (EO) for the suspension of evictions.

The groups also called for another EO that will give a mandate to the Technical Working Group (TWG) on the urban poor that was formed in 2010 to manage the P10-B government fund allotted for the relocation of residents in danger zones in Metro Manila. The National Housing Authority (NHA) presently handles the fund but the agency’s only program is off-site relocation out of Metro Manila which is unacceptable to the urban poor groups.

The rallyists were led by Kilos Maralita (KM) and the Kampanya para sa Makataong Pamumuhay (KAMP). Some leaders of KM and KAMP proceeded to Malacanang and presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda received the groups’ petition and the two resolutions approved by the urban poor
council of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) on the suspension of demolitions and P10-B fund.

The groups placed stress on the report of the Presidential Commission on the Urban Poor (PCUP) that in 2011, some 285 demolitions were conducted which affected 129,781 families. This was a huge jump from the 31 demolitions implemented in the last year of President Gloria Arroyo.

Of the demolitions in 2011, the PCUP reported that 143 were conducted in NCR which affected 62,034 families.

According to Teody Gacer, KM spokesperson, 70% of the demolitions were ordered by LGU’s in coordination with the NHA and 90% of the evictions were illegal since they did not follow requirements like census, certificate of compliance, due notice, consultation and lack of
relocation. Worse, Gacer said, seven of the demolitions ended in violence.

She also said that the report exposed the bankruptcy of LGU’s and the NHA to resolve the pressing concerns of the urban poor in a humane way. According to the groups, the failure is principally due to the lack of a new and clear direction by the Aquino administration on the housing needs of the urban poor.

PRESS RELEASE
05 June 2012
Contact: Bubuy Magahis
09228877634

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[In the news] Robredo: No more cops at demolitions -PhilStar.com

Robredo: No more cops at demolitions
By Cecille Suerte Felipe, The Philippine
April 30, 2012

MANILA, Philippines – After the violent demolition at the Silverio Compound in Paranaque City last week, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Robredo ordered the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) to refrain from extending police assistance to any demolition, pending a review of the law on informal settlers.

Robredo admitted that as DILG chief, he cannot stop any court from issuing demolition or eviction orders of informal settlers but he has the power to give orders to personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

“For the meantime, I ordered NCRPO chief Director Alan Purisima not to extend any police assistance to plan demolition while a review on policy and law on demolition are being reviewed,” he said.

Read full article @ www.philstar.com

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[Press Release] Demolitions under PNoy grossly violates right to life, adequate housing of the poor – CTUHR

Demolitions under PNoy grossly violates right to life, adequate housing of the poor – CTUHR

The Center for Trade Union and Human Rights criticized the Aquino government for “grossly violating the poor’s right to life and right to adequate housing” as a result of violent demolition of homes of urban poor communities to favor “so-called development projects.”

In reaction to the death of Arnel Tolentino in a demolition last April 23 in Bgy. Silverio, Paranaque City, Arman Hernando, CTUHR documentation coordinator said, “demolition of urban poor communities purportedly to implement so-called development projects by the Aquino administration and local government units have resulted to gross violations of the poor’s right to life and adequate housing.”

“In our documentation and monitoring, Tolentino is already the fifth urban poor resident killed as a result of violent demolition or ongoing dispute over urban poor communities since Aquino took office in 2010. At the same time, more than 12, 000 of families have been affected and displaced to give way to ‘development’ projects which more often than not favor private interests.”

In 2011, four urban poor residents were killed in three separate incidents related to the demolition of urban poor communities. On July 23, Soliman Gomez and Rommel Fortade were killed in a violent demolition of homes in Pangarap Village in Caloocan City. Antonio Homo, a resident of Kadiwa Navotas City and Simeon Bayogbog of San Isidro Rodriguez, Rizal were also killed in March and October last year at the height of dispute over the planned demolitions of their respective communities.

The demolition in Bgy. Silverio resulting in the death of Tolentino, injury and arrest of many other residents was executed by the local government of Paranaque together with the Philippine National Police (PNP). According to reports, at around 8-9am on April 23, tension between the police and the residents who are barricading their homes to stop the demolition increased when the police reportedly started throwing teargas towards the human barricade of the residents. The residents retaliated by throwing stones at the policemen. A few moments later, gunshots were heard and Tolentino was later found drenched in blood and unconscious while some other residents found themselves also injured by gunshots. Thirty-three (33) residents were also arrested and later charged with various criminal charges.

“We mourn with the family of Arnel and we are one with them in their fight for justice. No development or government project can ever justify loss of lives and violation of rights. We call on President Aquino to conduct a speedy, thorough and impartial investigation of the incident. Police investigating their own ranks might result to whitewash and coverup. Police and government officials accountable for the violent turnout of the demolition should be penalized and brought to justice,” Hernando added.

“We also reiterate our call on the Aquino government to uphold the poor’s right to adequate housing and stop all demolitions of communities until a comprehensive housing policy that will truly bring development to the lives of the urban poor is put in place,” Hernando added

RELEASE
26 April 2012
For reference: Arman Hernando, CTUHR Documentation Coordinator, +63922.821.6283

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[Press Release] Tucuma residents welcome suspension of demolitions but wants moratorium extended till housing program reformed -Tucuma Federation

Tucuma residents welcome suspension of demolitions but wants moratorium extended till housing program reformed

The residents of the depressed community of Tucuma in Barangay Merville, Parañaque who have been preparing to fight off an eviction heaved a sigh of relief and welcomed the temporary suspension of demolitions ordered by DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo hours after they held a rally and sought a dialogue with his office yesterday.

“We however call on Sec. Robredo to extend the moratorium till the housing and even jobs policy of the government is reviewed and reformed,” Ramil Asturias, Tucuma Federation president said. This was in reaction to reports that the suspension will only last until the regulations on demolitions are assessed and affirmed.

Leaders of Tucuma Federation together with residents of NIA compound in Quezon City and West Bicutan who face similar land disputes staged the rally and were met with a DILG official named Clarion Paz-Tanghal who received the letter on behalf of Sec. Robredo. Asturias appealed to Robredo to facilitate negotiations between Tucuma Federation, the landowner Molave Development Corporation and Parañaque Mayor Florencio Bernabe.

Renato Magtubo, Partido ng Manggagawa chairperson, supported Asturias’ position and said that “Suspending demolitions until new rules are drafted merely scratches the surface of the problem. The government needs to address the root cause of lack of housing for the poor. The housing program is tied up with the jobs and wages policy. The low wages in the country, as attested by a recent report of the ILO, means that the poor have barely enough income for food much less rent or amortization on housing.”

Magtubo announced that a long march or Lakbayan from Calabarzon to Manila will be held on the eve of Labor Day and banner the call “Stop to demolitions, Housing and jobs for all.” Some 400 workers, youth and poor from Cavite, Laguna and Batangas will march from Zapote early in the morning of April 30 then merge with a contingent from Metro Manila by 3:00 p.m. in Baclaran and stay overnight at the Holy Trinity Church in Balic-Balic. On May 1, the “Lakbayan para sa Pabahay at Trabaho” will join the huge 20,000-strong “historic” rally by the newly-formed Nagkaisa, which unites the country’s major labor center for the first time since the 1980’s.

Magtubo revealed that the number of informal settlers was estimated at half a million families by a HUDCC study in 2007 while the housing backlog is assumed to be 3.7 million units. “Tucuma’s fight is the fight of all. Decent housing is a right not a privilege of all Filipinos. Violent evictions must be prohibited. Land disputes must be resolved through negotiations without the threat of violence, deceit or bribery. Residents must be relocated to better living conditions to ensure that negotiations end peacefully in agreement,” he insisted.

Press Release
April 28, 2012
Tucuma Federation
Contact Ramil Asturias @ 09178092807

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[In the news] Militants welcome suspension of demolitions in NCR, but…-GMA News

Militants welcome suspension of demolitions in NCR, but….

April 28, 2012

Militant groups on Saturday welcomed the order by Department of Local and Interior Government Secretary Jesse Robredo to suspend demolitions in Metro Manila, following a violent confrontation that killed one and wounded 39 in Parañaque City last Monday.

But the Metro Manila chapters of Anakbayan and Kabataan party-list groups said that while Robredo’s decision is a “triumph of urban poor dwellers,” it may be too little too late.

“We welcome the DILG‘s decision to suspend all demolitions in Metro Manila. [But] this victory was won through the militant struggle of the urban poor dwellers,” said Kabataan Metro Manila spokesperson Mark Louie Aquino.

He was referring to the struggle especially by the residents of Silverio Compound in Parañaque City last April 23.

Read full article @ www.gmanetwork.com

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[Press Release] Tucuma residents ask Robredo to intervene for expropriation of disputed land

Tucuma residents ask Robredo to intervene for expropriation of disputed land

A delegation of leaders from the Tucuma community in Barangay Merville in Parañaque staged a rally at the DILG head office and sought a dialogue with Secretary Jesse Robredo. A DILG official named Clarion Paz-Tanghal met with the Tucuma leaders and received the letter on behalf of Sec. Robredo. Ramil Asturias, Tucuma Federation president, said that “We asked Sec. Robredo to intervene and persuade Mayor Florencio Bernabe to stay the implementation of the demolition order and refile expropriation proceedings. It is not true that Mayor Bernabe’s hands are tied. The expropriation case was dismissed without prejudice, meaning the city hall can refile it once more. All it takes is political will.”

The Tucuma Federation leaders held the protest and then dialogue with Paz-Tanghal at around 10:00 a.m. in Quezon City in order to prevent another bloody eviction similar to the demolition at the Silverio Compound last Monday.

“We explained to the DILG that Mayor Bernabe is not powerless to do anything except demolish our homes. The local government’s expropriation case was dismissed without prejudice by the courts. This means that all Mayor Bernabe has to do is to refile the expropriation case against the Molave Development Corp which is headed by a certain Cynthia Tinitigan,” Asturias explained.

The Tucuma Federation is banking on City Ordinance 0013 s. 2000 which mandates the local government to buy the disputed land measuring some one hectare for the purpose of a socialized housing project for the informal settlers. Meanwhile some 1,000 families in Tucuma are on a 24/7 alert to defend their homes and livelihood against the expected demolition attempt.

Renato Magtubo, chairperson of the Partido ng Manggagawa, declared its support for the Tucuma Federation. He said “Tucuma’s fight is the fight of all. Decent housing is a right not a privilege of all Filipinos. Violent evictions must be prohibited. Land disputes must be resolved through negotiations without the threat of violence, deceit or bribery. Residents must be relocated to better living conditions to ensure that negotiations end peacefully in agreement.

He revealed that one of the demands to be raised in the coming May Day rally of workers is a moratorium on demolitions. A long march or “Lakbayan” of informal settlers and community youth from Calabarzon will start on April 30 and merge with the May Day rally. The Lakbayan will banner the call “Stop demolitions. Housing for all.” ###

——————————————————————————

Mga residente ng Tucuma magsusumbong kay Sec. Robredo sa planong demolisyon ni Mayor Bernabe

Isang delegasyon ng mga lider mula sa komunidad ng Tucuma sa Barangay Merville sa Parañaque ang magtutungo ngayong umaga sa opisina ni DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo upang idulog ang kanilang kahilingang huwag ituloy ang demolisyon sa kanilang mga tahanan. “Kami ay umaapela kay Sec. Robredo na makialam at itulak si Mayor Bernabe na huwag ituloy ang demolisyon at sa halip ay ipatupad ng local government ang expropriation ng lupang tinitirikan ng aming mga bahay,” ani Ramil Asturias, presidente ng Tucuma Federation.

Magrarali ang mga lider ng Tucuma Federation sa pambansang opisina ng DILG mamayang 10:00 n.u. at makikipagdayalogo kay Robredo upang maiwasan ang madugong ebiksyon gaya ng naganap sa Silverio Compound noong Lunes.

“Ipapaliwanag namin kay Sec. Robredo na di totoong walang magagawa si Mayor Bernabe. Ang sinabi ni Mayor na natalong kaso ay dismissal without prejudice ng expropriation case. Ibig sabihin, ang kailangan lang gawin ni Mayor ay muling isampa ang expropriation proceeding,” diin ni Asturias.

Pinanghahawakan ng Tucuma Federation ang City Ordinance 0013 s. 2000 na nagsasaad na bibilhin ng local government ang humigit-kumulang isang ektaryang lupa para maging socialized housing project para sa informal settlers.

Samantala patuloy ang pagbabantay ng isang libong pamilya sa Tucuma sa bantang demolisyon na maaring maganap anumang oras. Nagpahayag sila ng kahandaang ipaglaban ang kanilang paninirahan at hanapbuhay.

Sinusuportahan naman ni Renato Magtubo, tagapangulo ng Partido ng Manggagawa, ang laban ng Tucuma. Aniya “Dapat ipagbawal ang mararahas na demolisyon. Lutasin ang mga usapin sa lupa sa kaparaanan ng negosasyon nang walang karahasan, panunuhol at panloloko. Isa sa hiling namin sa Mayo Uno ay moratorium sa mga demolisyon at pabahay para sa lahat.”

Press Release
April 27, 2011
Tucuma Federation
Contact Ramil Asturias @ 09178092807

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[Urgent Appeal] More families left homeless after violent demolition in San Juan – CTUHR

URGENT APPEAL
19 January 2012


More families left homeless after violent demolition in San Juan
Dear friends and partners,

The Center for Trade Union and Human Rights is writing to you to seek support for the violently displaced residents of Corazon de Jesus, San Juan City Philippines last January 11.

Twenty-three residents were injured and 24 others were illegally arrested in brutal demolition that affected 300 families. Using absolute police force, the local government managed to demolish homes of the residents to give way to the construction of the new city hall.

At present, the displaced families have stayed in an alley near the demolished community as they continue to refuse the assigned relocation site provided by the local government. The residents complain that the relocation site in Rodriguez Rizal is very far from their workplace and from public services like hospitals and schools.
The right to decent housing that is accessible to livelihood and services is part of the economic, social and cultural rights of every individual. It is also integral to every person’s right to life with dignity. The Philippine Government ratified this UN Convention.

Case Summary
(from SAMANA and Karapatan NCR)

On December 5, 2011, San Juan City Architect Romeo Gonzales released a Notice of Eviction giving 30 days for 121 families to leave their homes. The notice however was not distributed to 121 families that were on the list for eviction. Instead, the notice was just left at the Corazon de Jesus Baranggay Hall. On January 6, 2012, the City Hall posted another notice stating that the residents have only 3 days left to leave the community. The notice did not contain names nor specific places to be demolished.

On January 7, a group of police headed by San Juan Police Chief Arcallana arrived in the baranggay and searched the booth of Sandigang Maralitang Nagkakaisa (SAMANA), an association formed by the residents of Corazon de Jesus. The police accused the residents of possessing guns and threatened the residents of launching a clearing operation.

On January 10, some policemen blocked individuals who were entering the baranggay. They also threatened that supporters of SAMANA from different sectors and communities inside and outside of Corazon de Jesus will be arrested. An announcement was also made at the San Juan Municipal High School (a school close to the target demolition site) that there will be no classes the following day. Around 9-930pm, a checkpoint was put up on P. Narciso Street. Two trucks of demolition team were also sighted that night, one in Agora, and another in Arena.

The next day, January 11, at around 7am, members of the demolition team were already sighted together with the police and the Magdiwang group on different areas surrounding the Corazon de Jesus.

Before 8 am, members of the Department of Welfare and Social Development (DSWD) also arrived. At almost the same time, members of the San Juan police and the demolition team were already positioned in three areas: P. Narciso, Artiaga and Pacific.

On P. Narciso, tension between the police, the demolition team, residents and their supporters immediately ensued. It started when the firemen water cannoned P. Narciso from the inside of the Second City Hall. At around 9am, the bulldozer together with the police and demolition tried twice to enter the community. By 10:25, the policemen fired their guns. The weapons used by the SWAT and the policemen were M14, M16 and .45. At the same time, the police threw teargas at the residents. The police however were still not able to get inside P. Narciso.

On Artiaga, the firetruck arrived at around 9:10am. The residents and their supporters assisted the children and evacuated them temoporarily until 9:55am. Around 10am, members of the demolition team threw stones at the residents followed by water cannon. The policemen stepped backed for a moment but they immediately turned and advanced and started throwing teargas at the residents. Around 10:30am, the barricade was dismantled and the police were finally able to enter the community.

By 11am, the policemen started arresting residents and supporters. Those who were taken while being arrested were beaten up by both policemen and members of the demolition team. The police laid their hands on everyone they passed by.

Around 100 homes were demolished by the demolitin teams.

Those who were wounded were:
1. Reggie Tambong, 25 years old; assaulted by the police and members of the demolition team

2. Jericho Estones, 15 years old; assaulted by the police and members of the demolition team

3. Alvin Rosante, 14 years old; assaulted by the police and members of the demolition team

4. Junar Pableb, 15 years old; assaulted by the police and members of the demolition team

5. Hector Bensa, 18 years old; assaulted by the police and members of the demolition team;

6. Rodel Vlenzuela, 17 years old; assaulted by the police and members of the demolition team

7. MC Daniela, 14 years old; assaulted by the police and members of the demolition team

8. Alane Lumbawa, 19 years old; assaulted by the police and members of the demolition team

9. Ariel Bacolod, 16 years old; assaulted by the police and members of the demolition team

10. Alvin Legarte, 14 years old; assaulted by the police and members of the demolition team

11. Salvador Garan; wounded, was hit by a rock thrown by members of the demolition team

12. Dino Amaredes, 17 years old; got wounded on his left knee

13. Jerry Pacle, 20 years old; wounded on the head

14. John Rudy, 15 years old; wounded on his left knee

15. Francisco Lina, 21 years old; wounded on the right knee

16. Francis Aresteros, 22 years old; acquired wounds on his hands

17. Victor Areno, 16 years old; wounded on his head

18. Lovely Clerigo, 17 years old; wounded on the right knee

19. Joseph Cabatoy, 43 years old, wounded on the neck

20. Lisa Fariscal; hinimatay, had an asthma attack due to the teargas

21. Ramil Juvilan

22. Maynard, wounded on the left hand

23. Ace, wounded on the left hand

 

Above is a partial list of those wounded as documented during the event. There are many other undocumented injured individuals.

Arrested were:
1. Rogelio Rosales, 30 resident

2. Loui Perdraso, 15 resident

3. Salvador Garzain, 55 resident

4. Edwin Crisologo, 22 resident

5. Jesus Duallo, 42 resident

6. Mark Dave Avestroz, 20 resident

7. Senen Buban, Jr., 23 resident

8. Roger Gavino resident

9. Louiche Meperito, 17 resident

10. Narciso Alberto, 62 resident

11. Rodel Tejolan, 17 relative of a resdient, just helping to transport their belongings

12. Jaime Gregorio, 24 supporter of SAMANA

13. Mark Lui Aquino, 25 supporter of SAMANA

14. Jay-Ar Brillante, 16 supporter of SAMANA

15. Luke Bagangan, 17 supporter of SAMANA

16. Manuel Veloria, 25 resident

17. Abel Bantolo, 15 resident

18. Another resident whose name was not yet taken
More individuals were arrested at 4pm in an indignation rally held by student supporters of SAMANA. They wanted to visit the arrested residents and condemn the illegal arrest and assault on those who were arrested. According to San Juan Police Chief Acallana gave the students five minutes to protest and the studend indeed left on time. However, members of the police ran after the protester and arrested six student leaders namely:
1. Romilo Penaverde, 21 supporter from Mandaluyong

2. RG Tesa, 23 supporter from UP-diliman

3. Alex Vadil, 23 supporter from UP-diliman

4. Rogelio Tubije, 21 supporter from UP-diliman

5. Thoaras Benjamin Roca, 17 supporter from UP-diliman

6. Sander Saputalo
Around 10pm the four students from University of the Philippines, Diliman were released while the two others were left detained. The four UP Diliman students were released under the custody of the lawyers from the UP Law Center.

Six of the detained are minors, one of them is a senior citizen.

Background

Baranggay Corazon de Jesus is mostly public land, meaning government-owned. It is a safe community and is not considered a danger zone. Meanwhile, most of the current residents of the village have long habited the place-ranging from 10 to 60 years. On 1978, through Presidential Decree 1716 by former President Ferdinand Marcos, the public land was placed under the local government of San Juan. Since then, the village became a populous community. From naked grasslands, the land was developed by the residents and roads were built in this place.

During the time of former President Corazon Aquino, the residents of Corazon de Jesus were recognized through Executive Order 164 and the land was awarded to the latter. The same recognition was inscribed in Executive Order 54 of former President Gloria Arroyo. However, the long-reigning political clan in the local government, the Estrada-Ejercito family, prevented the awarding of lands of Corazon de Jesus to the residents. The local government of San Juan refused to acknowledge the contribution of the residents in developing Corazon de Jesus in their half-century of residence in the said village. Instead, the local government, little by little, demolished the residential structures in the village and replaced them with building projects.

In the last two years, (2010-2011) the local government demolished the homes in Corazon de Jesus in order to put up a second city hall or San Juan White House. The Second City Hall is already built but Mayor Guia Gomez and her son, Congressman, JV Ejercito wants to occupy the entire village and totally evict all the residents to give way to the parking lot of Second City Hall and commercial establishments.

On the other hand, the local government of San Juan has no comprehensive – incoherent and unreliable – plan for the residents to be evicted. It persuaded residents to be relocated. There are some who agreed to the relocation and they were brought to Montalban and Lupang Aryenda in Rizal. But since the relocation site is so far from their source of livelihood, some of them went back to Corazon de Jesus. Majority of the residents of Corazon de Jesus refused to be relocated but the Office of the Mayor made it appear otherwise – that majority agreed to the relocation and only a few were left in Corazon de Jesus. In the list made by the local organization, Sandigan ng Maralitang Nagkakaisa (SAMANA), more than a thousand residents stayed in the village. Those were the ones target for demolition beginning January 11, 2012 until the end of January 2012.

SAMANA wrote many times to the City Council and Office of the Mayor. They wanted to have a dialogue with the local government to present their views on the planned demolition but the Office of the Mayor refused to accept the group’s letters.

The residents are demanding that the remaining land of Corazon de Jesus be awarded to them because in their view, the Second City Hall is more than enough. The residents believe that their decades of contribution to developing the land of Corazon de Jesus must be recognized by awarding the land to them instead of alloting it to commercial establishments.

On January 11, 2012, another part of the Corazon de Jesus was demolished where more than 100 houses were dismantled. The city government plans to totally evict all residents by the end of January 2012.

Suggested Action:

Please write letters to the authorities in support of the residents of Corazon de Jesus and their fight for adequate housing. In particular you can write to:
1) Condemn the violent demolition in Corazon de Jesus perpetrated by the city government of San Juan on January 11.
2) Call for the awarding/distribution of the lands of the village to all the current residents of Brgy. Corazon de Jesus!
3) Call for the stoppage on all demolition in San Juan and uphold the people’s right to adequate housing.

Kindly send your letters to:
His Excellency Benigno Simeon Aquino III
President

Republic of the Philippines

Malacanang Palace
JP Laurel Street, San Miguel
Manila 1005, Philippines
Fax: +63 2 736 1010
Tel: +63 2 735 6201 / 564 1451 to 80

 

Mrs. Raquel Rolnik
United Nations Special Rapporteur
on the Right to Adequate Housing
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations Office at Geneva

1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland
Fax: +41 22 917 90 06
E-mail: urgent-action(at)ohchr.org
Hon. Loretta Ann P. Rosales
Chairperson

Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., UP Complex
Commonwealth Avenue
Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines

928-5655, 926-6188
Telefax: 929-0102
chair.rosales.chr@gmail.com

Please furnish us a copy of the mails you will be sending to the authorities. Cc it to pie.ctuhr@gmail.com or to our mailing address Rm 702 Culmat Bldg. 126 E. Rodriguez Avenue, Quezon City 1102 Philippines. You can also fax it thru +632.411.0256.
Thank you very much for your support.

Sincerely,

Center for Trade Union and Human Rights

[Blog] The Fight for the Right to Housing is A Fight of Metaphors by Joy Icayan

The Fight for the Right to Housing is A Fight of Metaphors
by Joy Icayan

Joy Icayan

On Sept. 23, 2010, 130 homes were taken down as the MMDA started the demolitions in Sitio San Roque, Barangay Bagong Pag-asa, Quezon City. The demolitions would be to give way to a 22B project to transform the area into the Quezon City Central Business District, a joint project between Ayala Land Inc. and National Housing Authority. The protests over the demolitions injured at least eleven people, seven of which were residents in the area.

The court issued a Temporary Restraining Order which issued a halt to the demolitions. The next day Pres. Aquino also issued the National Housing Authority to stop forced relocations of those opposed to it, until a comprehensive, orderly plan can be finalized.

The general public has chimed in, along with NHA, the CHR and various CSO groups on the plight of the informal dwellers, on what exactly they deserve, and they are entitled to on what their rights are. The talk is muddled with relocation packages, and the rights-based-approach on how to conduct these things. We hear numbers of those who have chosen to leave and settle in the relocation homes, and those who have chosen to stay. And then there are complaints. Everywhere there are complaints—from the lack of necessities in the relocation areas, in public forums where people, often anonymously, invoked the concept of nation and progress to judge these people for their sense of entitlement.

And often the fight is rooted at the metaphorical level of how we define development and growth and progress, and to go on, how we define a nation and who belong in it and the weight we’re willing to carry. We can choose to define development through new business districts and big shiny buildings and delegate those who do not conform to this standard to the other end of the spectrum. To do this, we need only the help of media who ask us not to ‘coddle’ the squatters, to be reminded of the petty crime that happens when informal dwellers huddle together, to use words like eyesore and lazy and criminal, to tell ourselves of the multitude of babies they seem to bring forth into an already overpopulated country. The burden they are, that which must be shed if we are to see any light.

Or we can choose to question our own metaphors, and how we’ve come to own them, how we’ve come to define a kind of development which includes some and excludes others, and what purpose this serves, and who.

And then perhaps we can dissect how exactly their concept of rootedness is different from ours, how we’ve come to dictate what is acceptable for them, how their relationship to their homes is much more trivial (perhaps also make of flimsier recycled stuff), how their sense of family and community—that which will be disrupted with demolitions and relocations is less valid than ours. Perhaps talking of dignity doesn’t merely entail provision of the minimums so people will stop complaining—but looking at those who are massively different, who live beyond our comfort zones (and beyond our personal meanings) at eye level, and letting them fight for the same abstracts that we have—as we undoubtedly, would.

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/metro-manila/09/24/10/aquino-steps-stops-qc-demolition

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/metro-manila/09/26/10/%E2%80%98better-relocation-conditions-north-triangle-settlers%E2%80%99

[In the news] Residents of community in San Juan leave homes quietly as demolition resumes – gmanetwork.com

Residents of community in San Juan leave homes quietly as demolition resumes
http://www.gmanetwork.com
January 14, 2012

 Two days after engaging authorities in a violent confrontation, families at a residential area up for demolition in San Juan City left their homes peacefully Friday afternoon.

A report on dzBB radio on Saturday said the families offered no resistance as demolition teams dismantled their houses in Corazon de Jesus village.

Some 31 families were relocated while the others opted to look for houses in nearer areas, the report said.

It said, the San Juan City government allowed families looking for houses outside the relocation site in Rodriguez town in Rizal province to temporarily place their belongings in a warehouse owned by a local official.

However, the city government stressed the families are not to live in the warehouse.

Also, the city government cordoned off the demolition area to keep residents from returning.

Clearing operations at the Corazon de Jesus area resumed peacefully after 3 p.m. Friday, two days after more than 30 people were hurt in a violent confrontation with wrecking teams.

Read full article @ www.gmanetwork.com

[Statement] PLM Calls for Solidarity of the Poor Against Demolitions – PLM

 The PLM salutes the residents of Bgy. Corazon de Jesus, San Juan City, who fought fiercely for their rights to remain in the area after a big number of police and demolition forces swooped down on their barangay and demolished their houses.

The people of Bgy. Corazon fought back like there was no tomorrow, with the weapons of the oppressed: stones, sling shots, pillboxes and molotov cocktails.

As a result, more than 30 people were hurt, scores were arrested, and many lost their homes. But many have opted to remain even if their homes were already demolished. They say they will continue to fight it out because they have no other options left.
The city government has said that it will provide P10,000 and a sack of rice for each family which will be relocated to far-flung Rodriguez, Rizal province – in a place where there are no amenities, no available jobs and where they will have to pay a monthly rent to occupy a small piece of land.

The residents are right to say that they are being treated like pigs by this government and the trapo elite who control the government from top-down, be it the trapos led by the Aquinos, the Estradas or the Arroyos.

The PLM also calls on the people to defend their rights and to rise up against demolitions that will continue in many parts of Metro Manila and other urban centers in the Philippines as the Aquino government and its local counterparts clear urban poor communities to provide prime real estate for big business conglomerates – the Ayalas, Aranetas, Henry Sys and their ilk.

We believe that the people have a fundamental right to decent housing, jobs and expanded welfare benefits. We believe that it is immoral for the elite to own so much land, wield so much power, monopolize so many assets and properties while the majority of the population lives in utter destitution and hunger.

The only way to solve the inequalities and oppression in the country is to distribute the wealth of the elite – ill-gotten and otherwise – and provide for the needs of the poor majority.

We call for solidarity of the poor, whatever their affiliations, to close ranks and rise up to defend and expand their rights and welfare.

Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM)
January 12, 2012

[Featured Photo] Homeless after forced eviction in San Juan City

Hundreds Left Homeless During Forced Eviction of Settlers
Photo blog by Rommel Yamzon, Life in a box

Photo by Rommel Yamzon

Around 300 houses were destroyed by the demolition crew during forced eviction of residents in Barangay Corazon de Jesus, San Juan City happened on January 11, 2012.

More photos @ rommelyamzon.blogspot.com

[In the news] 2 cops hurt in shanties’ demolition in San Juan urban poor community – InterAksyon.com

2 cops hurt in shanties’ demolition in San Juan urban poor community
by Abigail Kwok, InterAksyon.com
january 11, 2012

 MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE 2:56 PM) Four people were hurt, including two policemen, at the height of the demolition of a row of shanties in San Juan City Wednesday, police said.

Over 180 police clashed with residents of Bgy. Corazon de Jesus. The injured were brought to San Juan Medical Center for treatment.

Militant group Bayan, meanwhile, condemned the violent dispersal of homes and the arrest of protesters and said this could have been avoided had City Hall listened to residents’ suggestions of various modes of in-city relocation.

In their proposal, residents would either transfer to a different lot within the city or move inwards of their existing community to give way to the city projects. “The city government did not heed these proposals and instead pushed for the violent demolition of houses knowing fully well that the residents would resist,” Bayan rued in a statement.

Read full article @ interaksyon.com

[In the news] QC informal settlers resist demolition; negotiations ongoing – Inquirer.net

QC informal settlers resist demolition; negotiations ongoing.

By Chona Yu, Karen Boncocan
990AM, INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippine – Tensions rose as authorities attempted to demolish some 1000 houses in Barangay (village) Old Balara in Quezon City Wednesday morning but authorities are trying to prevent an outbreak of violence through negotiations, according to reports culled by INQUIRER.net.

A 990AM report said residents became hostile as they prevented the demolition team together with some 200 policemen deployed in the area from taking down their homes. Some residents also barricaded the middle of Commonwealth Avenue, causing traffic in the area.

Read full article @ newsinfo.inquirer.net

[Press Release] Violence, demolition threaten Calamba community – Partido ng Manggagawa

Shots were fired and stones were hurled at the houses of two leaders of an urban poor community that is being threatened by demolition. The incidents happened late night of Friday as residents of a community at Purok 3, Barangay Makiling in Calamba, Laguna were resting and sleeping.

“We call on Mayor Jun Chipeco of Calamba and newly reappointed DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo to assist the urban poor of Calamba who are being threatened by an illegal demolition,” stated Ramil Cangayo, coordinator of the Calabarzon chapter of Alyansa ng Maralitang Lungsod (AMP), a national network of urban poor organizations that is campaigning for a moratorium on demolitions, reforms in the housing policy and housing security of informal settlers.

At 11:45 pm last Friday three shots were fired at a light bulb in the house of Zeny Martirez, treasurer of the Samahang Magkakapitbahay Magkakaibigan Kapuso (SMMK). The shards fell on the face of her child who sustained injuries. The family recovered two bullet fragments inside their house. Earlier at 10:00 pm stones were thrown at the house of Mike Brendes, auditor of the group. Martirez and Brendes filed a report at the barangay yesterday about the incidents. SMMK leaders suspect the violent harassment is connected to the demolition being threatened by barangay captain Soliman Lajara and a certain Cao of Galaxy Realty Corp which owns the lot on which the community stands.

“Some 86 families are now living in fear because of the harassment and threats. Cao and Lajara are warning the residents that they must leave tomorrow or else be demolished. However there is no demolition order so clearly this is illegal,” Cangayao explained.

The leaders and members of SMMK had staged a rally and held a dialogue with Mayor Chipeco last May 10. Negotiations with the mayor’s office are still ongoing.

file photo source: flickr.com

Renato Magtubo, national chair of Partido ng Manggagawa, called on President Benigno Aquino III to sign a draft executive order providing for a moratorium on demolitions and evictions. “The spate of violent demolitions in Metro Manila, Calabarzon and Metro Cebu reveal the need for a moratorium on evictions. During the pendency of the moratorium, government must hold an honest dialogue with the urban poor for strategic solution to the problem of housing for the poor,” he explained.

PM and AMP and are involved in the consultations held by the cabinet level task force headed by Secretary Robredo with the mandate to formulate and recommend policy resolutions on the housing issues confronting the urban poor. An executive order for the moratorium drafted as a result of the consultations has remained unsigned by President Aquino.

Press Release
May 29, 2011
Partido ng Manggagawa
Contact Ramil Cangayao @ 09108676990

[Press Release] Paranaque urban poor to march to city hall – Alyansa ng Maralitang Pilipino

Some 100 informal settlers who were recent victims of violent demolitions marched today to the Paranaque City hall to call for a stop to the forcible eviction of the urban poor. The Alyansa ng Maralitang Pilipino (AMP) chapter in Paranaque led the march that assembled at 10:00 a.m. in Kabihasnan then proceeded to the city hall in Valley 1.

Ed Casuy, leader of the AMP-Paranaque, said that ‘We ask the local government of Paranaque for a moratorium on demolitions and evictions. There have been recent demolitions in the city which did not follow the procedures laid down in the law.”

Casuy revealed that on 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.

On the same day another demolition occurred at the back of the Lorenzana area at the Coastal Road in San Dionisio, Paranaque. Some 76 families were illegally evicted by the Philippine Reclamation Authority, the former Public Estates Authority, and another ten families are still threatened with demolition.

Casuy demanded that the relocation be provided to the displaced urban poor. The protesters brought with them placards with the messages “Moratorium sa Demolisyon at Ebiksyon, Ipatupad!” and “Marahas na Demolisyon at Ebiksyon, Ipatigil!”

Salvacion Hortilano the representative of the victims of violent demolition at the back of Lorenza said, “We ask Mayor Jun Bernabe and the City Council for a dialogue so they can hear our demands. If Lot 5155 in the coastal road is already under the jurisdiction of the City Government of Paranaque, we ask that a parcel of land be provided for the benefit of the informal settlers and not just of the few favored contractors of this administration.” She added, “What is the value of infrastructure projects funded by government money if the poor do not benefit from it?”

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. AMP is a participant 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.

Casuy 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?”

PRESS RELEASE
April 7, 2011
Alyansa ng Maralitang Pilipino
Contact Ed Casuy @ 09198082539

[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.

PRESS RELEASE
April 4, 2011
Partido ng Manggagawa

Urban Poor Ask Supreme Court to Order Compliance of RA 7279 in Manila Bay Clean Up

Source urbanpoorassociates.blogspot.com

Urban Poor Associates (UPA) filed on Thursday before the Supreme Court a motion to issue order for compliance with Republic Act 7279 prior to demolition and/or eviction of informal settlers. This is an appeal on the high court’s decision on the implementation of the Manila Bay clean up rendered last February 15.

The Court orders Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to come up with the lists of informal settlers living along the Pasig-Marikina-San Juan Rivers, the NCR (Parañaque-Zapote, Las Piñas) rivers and the Navotas-Malabon-Tullahan-Tenejeros Rivers and the LGUs outside Metro Manila for the list of informal settlers along Meycauayan-Marilao-Obando (Bulacan) rivers, the Talisay (Bataan) River, the Imus (Cavite) river, the Laguna De Bay and Connecting waterways.

The high Court even set a timeline up to December 31, 2012 and 2015 for the full implementation of the demolition of houses and removal of the informal settlers.

PRESS RELEASE
March 31, 2011
Urban Poor Associates

However, UPA and other other movants Community Organizers Multiversity (COM), Community Organization of the Philippine Enterprise (COPE), Kabalikat sa Pagpapaunlad ng Baseco (KABALIKAT), Ugnayan Lakas ng mga Apektadong Pamilya sa Baybaying Ilog Pasig (ULAP) and residents along Radial 10 (R10) Boulevard in Tondo, Manila, found the court’s resolution silent as to the observance and compliance of the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992 (RA 7279) which lays down requisites before eviction and/or demolition is enforced.

In a fifteen-page motion, the urban poor group through their lawyer, Ritche Esponilla, stressed that the effort in the rehabilitation of the Manila Bay should not be at loggerheads with the basic [human] rights accorded to the underprivileged and homeless citizens guaranteed by the 1987 Constitution itself.

RA 7279 requires that urban poor whose houses are subject to demolition should be notified 30 days before. It also compels consultation and relocation to the affected underprivileged citizens, and without such compliance there must be no evictions or demolitions.

UPA said with the SC decision shanties of 129,606 urban poor families surrounding Manila Bay are in danger of being demolished without relocation.

“There is an urgent need that the Court issues an order for compliance of requisites set out by RA 7279 prior to demolition and/or eviction to protect the housing rights of the poor. While the clean up is valuable it must not come at the expense of displacing thousands of urban poor families already marginalized by society,” Atty. Esponilla said.

“We must also remember that the high Court already recognized that this endeavor (preservation of Manila Bay) cannot go against the right of those whose dwellings are in danger of being torn down. In its ruling on October 2009, it emphasized that it does not give the MMDA and other concerned government agencies the power to evict any individual from his or her home without first giving notice,” he added.

UPA said President Benigno Aquino III tasked Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to form a technical working group (TWG) that would study issues/concerns of the urban poor. This TWG is already working.

UPA field director Alicia Murphy concluded, “The waterways dwellers are working hard to implement their dream of on-site housing through the TWG. We even came up with a housing proposal along waterways designed by Palafox architects that would not interfere with the cleaning of Manila Bay and the Pasig river. We believe that efforts on restoring the beauty of Manila Bay must be equipped with a comprehensive and decent housing program for the welfare of the poor. In this way, we will be able to preserve lives – the life of the poor and the life of the Bay.

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