Evicted urban poor rebuild their new homes in a disputed land in QC

SOME 170 urban poor families in Barangay Del Monte, Quezon City started to rebuild their homes despite threats of arrest by the authorities, as they called on the Aquino administration to secure them their right for decent and adequate housing .

After being evicted last month from their community, members of 67 West Riverside Interior Neighborhood Association, Inc (WINA).-KADAMAY and neighboring organizations and supporters successfully reclaimed the disputed lot at 67 West Riverside at around 9:30 Sunday morning.

Policemen are conducting an investigation. At least no injuries were recorded on the part of the residents and the security guards manning the compound.

The 1,004 sq. m.lot has been home to the residents in the past 50 years until a court sheriff appeared last month with a court document dated 2006 ordering the residents to vacate their homes.

The first wave of eviction of residents was in November 14 led by some 30 police men and the demolition team. Two days later, the residents reclaimed their land after fending off the security guards who were manning the property. But then again in Nov 26, authorities caught the residents off-guard as the combined forces of the PNP, BFP and hired demolition team completely wiped out the newly built homes of the residents.

Since then, families have been living in tents along the street of West Riverside.

Jenito Nueva, president of WINA-KADAMAY, claimed they have acquired a document from the Land Registration Authority contesting the ownership claim of certain Preciosa Alvarado to the said lot.

“We will do everything to bring our land back, no matter what it takes. We can no longer let our families to live on the street,” Nueva said.

According to Carlito Badion, “What happened is but a result of the collective action of the residents who are only fighting for a small piece of land that the government and private businessmen are denying the residents. Nowadays, many private claimants are using state forces and the court to evict urban poor from their communities ‘to make urban lands more profitable. Napakatalamak ng ganitong iskema lalo na sa Quezon City.”

“But the urban poor have learned to do things in extra-judicial ways, beyond what is permitted by the law, because this government has failed to secure for them their basic rights,” Badion added.


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