‘Mega-demolition’ of urban poor communities may spark mass protests – group

YOUTH group warned the Aquino government of  ‘widespread protests’ if it continue to push through with its plan to forcibly relocate more than 195,000 poor families and “blast” their houses.

Vencer Crisostomo, Anakbayan national chairperson, assailed Aquino’s “anti-poor plan” and said this will “stoke the fires of outrage among the urban poor and could spark protests that could develop into a mass uprising.”

“Aquino is clearly using flood control programs as smokescreen to implement a mega-demolition plan which will pave way for projects which will benefit his cronies and kabarkadas. The people can see through the lies and is given no other recourse but to fight back,” he said.

Relocation to death zones

Crisostomo said the claim that government will take the poor out of so-called “danger zones” to bring them to safety is a “sham.”

“There are no decent relocation areas to speak of. The areas where urban poor families were previously relocated were among those which were heavily flooded. The government evicted the poor from ‘danger zones’ and put them in ‘death zones’. The real motive is to implement PPP projects for profit and kickback,” he said.

Stop blaming the victims

Crisostomo said Aquino should stop using the poor as cover-up for his government’s failure to stop massive floods.

“The government has failed to provide decent employment and housing for the poor. It has also failed to implement a flood control program to desilt lakes and put up necessary urban infrastructure to stop floods,” he said.

“Aquino’s plunderous mining and logging policies favoring foreign capital has ravaged the environment and has led to more floods and landslides. Likewise, the failure to regulate dam water release in the name of profit has also caused massive floods,” he added.

Crisostomo said a multisectoral march vs demolition and Aquino’s public-private partnership program will be held on August 30. The protest march will also take the “noynoying” government to task for its failure to address floods and disasters.

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