3 wounded in new strafing incident in Tarlac City

THREE residents were seriously wounded when some 20 armed goons allegedly broke into a squatter colony in Block 7, San Roque, Tarlac City and open-fired at the residents this morning.

The victims were sent to Ramos General Hospital for treatment according to a report from Anakpawis-Central Luzon. The group however failed to identify the names of the victims.

This developed as the residents mourn the killing of John Cali Lagrimas, 15, who was killed when residents  in Block 7, San Roque, Tarlac City resisted the demolition of their houses.

In its statement, Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap, an urban poor group, condemned the violent incident this morning as they demand President Aquino and Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas to resolve the series of incidents in Tarlac City.

“This is the bloody situation that the urban poor sector suffers under the Aquino administration. In Aquino’s more than two years in office, he has done for us nothing but intense suffering and wave of brutalities due to his demolition rampage in urban poor communities,” said Gloria Arellano, Kadamay national secretary-general.

On Thursday, Kadamay members trooped to the DILG office on Epifanio de los Santos Avenue in Quezon City and reiterated their call to the government to address the violence related to demolition of homes in urban poor communities, which the group said has taken 11 lives as casualty.

They asked Roxas on Thursday to investigate the violent demolition that led to the death of a 15-year-old informal settler in Tarlac City last week.

Focus on duties, not politics

“What can we do when our officials have turned deaf to our calls?” asked Arellano.

Kadamay reiterated that Roxas and Aquino, leaders of the Liberal Party, should be focusing on the issues of the people and not its agendas for next year’s election.

“While we are being strafed with bullets, they are busy proclaiming their party’s candidates for the 2012 election,” said Arellano. “Roxas is a traditional leader and can be hardly compared to the late Interior Secretary Robredo.”

Robredo, the group said, acted swiftly, in the case of the demolition in Silverio Compound in Parañaque City in April during which Arnel Leonor, a resident, was killed, and ordered a moratorium on demolition twice during his term as DILG Secretary.

Call for Aquino’s ouster

“While the fascist attacks on the urban poor keep unabated, we have no choice but barricade our homes and fight with the police and demolition teams. We may not have long arms and guns unlike those in authority, and we may not have won many of our barricades. But we will never get tired of exposing the brutalities of the Aquino regime against the urban poor,” said the leader.

Kadamay has been blaming President Aquino for failing to implement a housing program, create jobs and implement a substantial wage increase; as well as implement a genuine agrarian reform program to address hunger and poverty in the country.

“The urban poor will never find peace under Aquino, and under the current system led by traditional politicians who represent the few ruling elites,” she added.

“Right now, we may not have plenty of supporters based on his popularity rating, but no one can keep the urban poor from calling for the ouster of the Aquino regime,” Arellano said

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