6 North Triangle leaders served with arrest warrants

SIX resident-activists from North and East Triangle in Quezon City face threat of being arrested after the Branch 42 of Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court issued their arrest warrants Friday afternoon for cases of illegal assembly and malicious mischief.

Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) a national urban group with affiliate local organizations in North and East Triangle said the release of warrant of arrest is in right timing to ensure that demolition of homes in Sitio San Roque and in other communities in the North and East Triangle goes smoothly.

At around 2pm yesterday, six unidentified armed men attempted to invite Jocy Lopez, chair of Kadamay North Triangle to the community precinct along Agham Road. But the men failed after a crowd of residents snatched the leader from the group of men and hid her in a safe place. The residents later drove the armed men away.

Kadamay said the failed arrest was illegal because the men have not presented an arrest warrant for the leader. Only did Kadamay realize that Lopez was issued with a warrant of arrest after its national office inquired at the Quezon City Hall of Justice.

Other leaders and residents who face arrest were Sheila Marie C. Buenaflor, chair of Alyansa ng Kabataang Lumalaban para sa Sambayan (AKLAS); Myrna Dalida, officer of Anakpawis Agham Chapter; Carlito Villilia, Jr, officer of Anakbayan BIR Road Chapter; Rogelio Borres, chair of Anakbayan NIA Road Chapter; and Karen Romero, member of Anakbayan North Triangle Chapter.

The said officers including Jocy Lopez were also illegally detained last May 11 after staging a lightning rally at Aquino’s ancestral home in Times Street to protest against impending demolition in Sitio San Roque to give way to the construction of Quezon City Central Business District. The activists were detained for a week at the Masambong Police Precinct after their bail was posted with solicitations from the affected residents of North and East Triangle.

Two unidentified armed men also went to the home of Villilia along BIR Road at around 5pm Friday and forced open its door. Residents of North Triangle are now hiding the whereabouts of their leaders. September 23 Movement, the local alliance of residents in North Triangle, is planning to file a motion to lift warrant of arrest and reinstatement of cash bond on Monday.

According to Gloria Arellano, Kadamay national secretary-general, the illegal failed arrest of their leaders and members only showed how desperate the authority is in implementing the demolition of homes in the urban poor communities affected by QCCBD.

“North Triangle residents have been vocal against the programs and policies of the Aquino administration with their frequent symbolic barricades of EDSA and protest actions at Time St. Who else would want to silence the community more than the President himself?” Arellano remarked.

The local government of Quezon City has said that the demolition of homes along EDSA will push through after it finished some legal requirements with regards to the implementation of the eviction process.

According to Taddy Palma, secretary to the Office of the Mayor Herbert Bautista, only bad weather can prevent them from evicting the residents along EDSA, despite the claim of DILG Secretary Mar Roxas that he stopped the demolition of homes in Sitio San Roque last Monday.

Homes along BIR Road are also in threat of demolition on Monday.

Meanwhile, Estrelieta Bagasbas, chair of September 23 Movement, said “Nothing could keep the residents of Sitio San Roque from defending their homes. Nothing could keep us from speaking about the cruelty of the Aquino administration against the urban poor.”

“Until this government learns to treat us as human, we will never get tired of protesting at Times St and barricading EDSA to echo our demands, while we remain to lead the urban poor sector in calling for the ouster of the elitist Aquino administration,” Bagasbas said.

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