CEBU, Philippines — About 200 families in Sitio Tangke, Barangay Mambaling will lose their homes after the court ordered the demolition of their houses because the owner will utilize the lot.
The demolition started yesterday and there was no resistance or commotion.
But Janny Anter, president of Panaghugpong-Kadamay, a homeowners’ association in the sitio, said they will stage a protest against the demolition today.
He lamented that other associations in the sitio are not doing something to fight for their right to keep their houses.
“Magka-gubot gyud mi karon, kay siyempre amo-a gyud ning katungod, kung ilang gub-on among balay, siyempre masuko gyud mi,” he said. (There will be a commotion because we will fight if they will destroy our houses.)
He also lamented that the Presidential Commission on the Urban Poor (PCUP) is not doing something to help the affected residents.
He said Julito Layon who represents PCUP did not take his call yesterday,
“Unsa ma’y gamit ana nila nga dili man sila ka-protect sa urban poor? Nganong wala man sila’y gihimo? Dapat karon naa unta sila karon, asa man sila ron?” he said. (They are useless because they can’t protect the urban poor. They are not doing their job.)
The affected residents are offered a relocation site in Barangay Quiot but the area is not accessible because of the lack of concrete road and there is no access to potable water.
“Pwede na makabalhin didto, pero wala man kalsada didto, unsaon man na namo? Ang amo lang gipangayo, mao ra gyud na tubig ug ang kalsada. Bisag wala lang sa kuryente,” Jeffrey Rapisa, a resident in the area whose house was being demolished, said. (Even if there is no electricity, it is fine. We are only asking for water and road.)
Elmer Gasalatan, demolition team leader, said that the clearing operation is expected to last for five to six days if there are no obstructions.
His team has about 150 members and they are tapped by the owner, Ivan Go, who will be using the property.
Meanwhile, about 20 members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) were present in the area to maintain peace and order, said court sheriff Edilberto Suarin.
They did not have problems yesterday as the residents did not resist.
“Kung mag-protest sila (residents), kung hilabtan ang demolition crew, usa pa mo-come in ang police,” Suarin said. (If the residents will show resistance and will attack the demolition crew, the police will come in.) (FREEMAN)