Court lifts arrest warrants vs 6 North, East Triangle leaders

JUDGE Juris Dilinila-Callanta of Branch 42 of the Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court, lifted the warrants of arrest against six resident-activists of North and East Triangle in Quezon City at around 9am today.

Different urban poor groups under Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) also held a picket action this morning outside the Quezon City Hall Compound to call for the lifting of the warrants and to end the harassment against urban poor leaders and residents who are resisting the demolition of their homes.

The court decision  has also reinstated the P27,000 worth cash bond posted by the defendants last May 17, 2012 after being charged with cases of illegal assembly and malicious mischief.

Prior to posting of bail in May, the six activist were detained for one week in the Masambong Police Precinct after some residents of North and East Triangle whose homes
are about to be demolished stormed the ancestral home of President Aquino in Time St.

The new warrants of arrest were issued in August 14, 2012 after the leaders were not able to attend three successive hearings which the defendants argued in court that they were not notified with.

Yesterday, North Triangle residents have violently clashed with the police in their attempt to execute a temporary blockade of the northbound lane of EDSA in condemnation of the ‘overkill’ demolition of homes along BIR, and the harassment on their leaders.

Estrelieta Bagasbas, chair of September 23 Movement, said the issuance of arrest warrants to their leaders and the absence of notices of eviction to residents along BIR are ‘treacherous moves’ of local and national government aimed to weaken the resistance of residents against the implementation of the Quezon City Central Business District project.

In hiding after a failed ‘abduction’

The six urban poor activists had been in hiding since October 5 after six armed policemen in civilian uniform had failed to nab Jocy “Ka Malou” Lopez, chair of Kadamay North Triangle after the residents drove the arresting police officers away from the community.

The residents claimed that the incident is tantamount to ‘abduction’ as the arresting officers did not present any document during the arrest.

Other leaders who are issued with arrest warrants are 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.

Oplan Bayanihan

According to Bagasbas, the Aquino government has been implementing violent eviction of urban poor settlers from their communities and harassing their leaders without respect to their human rights, and without any remorse. “The anti-insurgency program Oplan Bayanihan is his answer to the resistance of the urban poor,” she added.

“Despite the protests, Aquino has remained silent about the eleven urban poor leaders who were killed in defense of their homes and about the not less than 16,000 families who ended up homeless or more impoverished in government’s relocation sites, since he assumed his post as president,” she added.

Meanwhile, militant urban poor group Kadamay demanded that Aquino has to stop the demolition of homes in urban poor communities immediately. If not, it is the Aquino administration that has to end according to the group.

The group has dubbed Aquino as the ‘butcher and number one human right violator of the urban poor’ as it called on the Filipino people to fail the Oplan Bayanihan program of the Aquino administration which targets progressive leaders and innocent civilians.

“The law may consider us illegal squatters, but we are human and we need a shelter for our family. If the government could provide us with jobs with a decent wage that is not just enough for our family to survive each day, we would not live in a squatter colony” Bagasbas said.

“Do we deserve such fascist treatment by the state?” she asked

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