Group calls on Roxas to stick to his words
THE militant group Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) called on Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas to stick to his promise to residents that there will be no demolition of homes until the government finds a better and safe relocation program for the affected residents.
The group issued the call as urban poor residents of Sitio San Roque in North Triangle, Barangay Bagong Pag-asa, Quezon City brace for a possible back-to-back demolition of homes along EDSA and Agham Road this morning.
“I have to make sure that the demolition has satisfied the requirements of safety, compensation, relocation, etc. I have ordered Undersecretary Austere Panadero to hold the demolition in the area near the Trinoma pending all the coordination with the demolition team and Quezon City government with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG),” Roxas said in his speech after his first flag-raising ceremony at the agency, October 1st.
Yesterday, residents received information from various sources confirming the demolition of homes in North Triangle. Residents early this morning will be on high alert as they stage simultaneous programs along EDSA and Agham Road to protest their homes.
Carlito Badion, Kadamay national vice chairperson revealed that the government is yet to secure a safe and decent relocation for the affected residents as the National Housing Authority insists on the residents to take the relocation program in the flood-prone Kasiglahan Village in Rodriguez, Rizal.
“That Roxas could not stick to his promise to the residents only shows that his pro-poor speech in his first day in office is only just for photo-ops,” Badion said.
Kadamay also blamed Roxas for his inaction in recent cases of violent demolition of homes following the failed demolition attempt in North Triangle earlier this month–in San Roque, Tarlac City, and along BIR road in Barangay Central, Quezon City. “The PNP should have been investigated on the killing of a boy in Tarlac City, as well as on the overkill deployment of police forces in the recent BIR demolition,” Badion added.
Meanwhile, residents of North Triangle have planned to fail any forced eviction of residents from their community this morning or in the coming days.
Jocy Lopez, a local leader of Kadamay in North Triangle, said “We have no other means but to counter the brute force that the authorities are using to quell our resistance. It’s yet again another fierce battle between the urban poor and the Aquino administration that in the past two years has only brought too much suffering to the poor section of the population.”
Lopez added that the Aquino administration has only served the interests of big businessmen like the Ayalas, while it has committed the worst cases of human right violations against the urban poor. An Ayala-owned business complex called Vertis North is soon to rise with in the 54 meters span of lot along EDSA previously occupied by the residents.
“We will not vow down to the police no matter how big they are in number. We will not refrain from creating the same violence which the police have witnessed in September 2010 if they proceeded this morning to force the residents to relocate to Rodriguez, and destroying our hard-earned properties,” the local leader added.
In September 2010, residents in the area clashed with demolition and police teams, causing injuries to at least 14 people in a seven-hour standoff where over 130 houses were still demolished. Many of those who were relocated by the government to Rodriguez, Rizal and San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan have already returned to Sitio San Roque due to lack of social services and jobs in the relocation sites.