Groups condemn guards’ assault of residents in Tarlac

THE Anakpawis Partylist – Gitnang Luson, its Tarlac provincial chapter and Karapatan – Tarlac condemned the recent attack of twenty security guards to residents of Block 7, Brgy. San Roque, Tarlac City who are still mourning John Cali Lagrimas’ death, the 15-year old shooting victim during the overkill demolition operation last October 2.

Anakpawis Partylist – Tarlak chapter said that on October 6, about 10am, security guards hired Dennis Junio, a claimant of the lot, attempted to occupy the lot but faced questioning from residents who are at Lagrimas’ wake. The guards then shot them with their firearms wounding three namely, April Joy Sangalang, Ariel Valdez and Dante Yumang. The residents then brought them to Ramos Hospital in the said city.

The residents said that the claimant Junio was not able to show sufficient proof of his ownership of the lot, thus, there is a pending motion for nullification at the Tarlac City Regional Trial Court. Before the violent demolition last October 2, a hearing on October 12 was set. Thus, residents have been determined to defend their rights on the land as they have been residing there for about 50 years.

“It is very tragic for us that we are being treated as animals. We are yet to bury Lagrimas and are still mourning and here they come shooting us with their firearms. They have no respect for Lagrimas’ wake and again they try to kill us,” Jose Lamon, Chairperson, Anakpawis Partylist – San Roque Tarlac.

As of this writing, two wounded residents are already discharged at the Ramos Hospital while the other victim was still under observation due to unrecovered slugs.

Residents said that the demolition last October 2 was illegal but their houses were demolished by a composite team of about 200 elements of demolition team, 100 elements of Philippine National Police (PNP) from Camp Macabulos in Tarlac City and Camp Olivas in San Fernando, Pampanga and 20 elements of SWAT team.

Karapatan – Tarlac said that residents especially women and children of Brgy. San Roque were traumatized by the violent incident. Reports said that policemen pointed guns on them to immediately leave the said land. Also, the demolition resulted to wounding of many residents and supporters that were brought to the nearest hospital.

“Anakpawis Tarlak and Central Luzon condemn this brutal act of security guards to the residents of San Roque, Tarlac. It is very clear that this is another desperate act to evict the residents from their land,”Joseph Canlas, Regional Coordinator, Anakpawis Partylist – Gitnang Luson.

“We hold the Aquino government for denying the urban poor access to decent housing and livelihood. Aquino is now pushing for further privatization and commercialization of land, resulting the systematic demolition of urban poor and even farming communities in the region,” Canlas added.

“PNP Tarlac should also be held accountable as they promoted the violent attack against the residents when they opened fire during the October 2 demolition. This time around, given the area is usually secured by fully-armed PNP units as a bus terminal is nearby, they did not prevent the guards blatant attack on the residents,” he said.

“In addition, we call on all our supporters in Central Luzon and Manila to support the urban poor of Brgy. San Roque, Tarlac”, Canlas said.

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