Urban poor group seeks 1-year moratorium on demolition from Malabon LGU

LEADERS of Alyansa ng Nagkakaisang Samahan sa Malabon, Inc, a local chapter of Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) in Sitio 6, Barangay Catmon, Malabon City have asked the local city government to spare their homes from demolition for at least one year in a dialogue with Mayor Lenlen Oreta at 2pm today.

The group initiated two successful barricades this month in January 17 and 23 against planned demolition of some 37 structures in the community for the initial implementation of the local government’s Community Mortgage Program (CMP).

Last Wednesday, ANSMI-Kadamay with militant supporters led at least 500 residents in blocking the two-lane Governor W. Pascual Avenue after an MMDA truck loaded with workers created a false demolition alarm among residents.

The Office of the City Mayor denied any demolition on that day, but the residents barricaded their community until 3pm before marching to the City Hall.

“Sa opisina mismo ni Mayor nanggaling ang paabot sa mga vendors na wag magtinda noong Miyerkules dahil magkakaroon daw ng demolisyon sa araw na iyon,” said Divina Gulfo, acting chair of Kadamay in the area, contrary to the claims of police officers who visited the residents’ barricade that there will only a clearing operation of vendors along the sidewalk on that day.

Bong Padua, chief of the city’s public information office, said the rumors of demolition stemmed from a mere “misunderstanding” after a truck operated by the city sidewalk clearing operations group passed by the area on Sunday to clear obstructions in front of a gate leading to a private property in the village.

Residents had rebuilt the said gate after local authorities dismantled it last January 17.

In the same dialogue this afternoon, urban poor group leaders also plan to air their demand for justice for Ernesto Gulfo, ANSMI-Kadamay chair who was slain in May 30 last year reportedly for his refusal to implement CMP in the area.

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