Wednesday, August 31, 2011

2 arrested for resisting demolition in QC, Philippines


Two people were arrested on Wednesday after they clashed with anti-riot
police escorting a team deployed to demolish houses of informal settlers
in Quezon City.

Those arrested, one of which was identified as Jason Celso, were brought
to the Quezon City Police District for interrogation, a report aired over
GMA News TV’s “Balitanghali" said.

Celso and his still unidentified companion may face charges for
obstruction and resisting arrest, the report added.

Violence earlier marred the demolition of houses in San Rafael compound in
Old Balara after residents set up barricades and resisted the anti-riot
police and the demolition team.

The residents complained of lack of financial assistance and a relocation
site from the government and Susana Realty, which owns the land.

Despite resistance from residents, the demolition team was able to
penetrate the area around 11 a.m. Wednesday and began dismantling about
700 houses in the area, the television report said.

The demolition was held by virtue of a writ of demolition issued by the
Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 22.

Relocation site

In an earlier interview on GMA News TV's "News to Go," Quezon City Mayor
Herbert Bautista told anchor Sandra Aguinaldo that they were informed by
the owner of the land that there was indeed a relocation site for the
informal settlers.

"Meron naman talagang kinikilala na relocation site para dun sa mga tao.
Iyun ho ang hinihingi namin. In fact, anytime soon, we will convene the
Judiciary-Executive Advisory Board as suggested by the court na pag may
ganitong mga sitwasyon, e nape-prepare naman natin yung mga tao," he said.

Bautista, however, did not mention where the relocation site is.

PNoy worse than Arroyo

Following the demolition in Old Balara, an anti-demolition alliance
complained of the Aquino administration’s treatment of the urban poor.

Carlito Badion, vice chairperson of the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap
(Kadamay), said President Benigno Aquino III is “worse" than his
predecessor, now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, in dealing with
informal settlers.

"He is obviously worse than Arroyo looking at his treatment to the urban
poor… As long as his penchant for neoliberal and anti-poor policies remain
as the frameworks of his development programs, he can never lead the
millions of poor Filipinos out of poverty," Badion said in a statement

He added that the urban poor should consider Aquino as a “persona non
grata" in their respective areas.

"Starting this day, he [Aquino] should think twice before entering any
slum area, that he has always wanted to get rid off," he said.

In September last year, a large-scale demolition took place in Quezon City
North Triangle to pave the way for the development of the city’s central
business district. At least 14 people were hurt when police and residents
clashed during the incident.

President Aquino, who was in a state visit in the United States at the
time, eventually ordered the National Housing Authority (NHA) to halt the
demolition and find a relocation site for the displaced residents. — RSJ,
GMA News

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