Paranaque urban poor marched to city hall
Some 100 informal settlers who were recent victims of violent demolitions marched last April 7, 2011 to the Paranaque city hall to call for a stop to the forcible eviction of the urban poor. The Alyansa ng Maralitang Pilipino (AMP) chapter in Paranaque led the march that assembled at 10:00 a.m. in Kabihasnan then proceeded to the city hall in Valley 1.
Ed Casuy, leader of the AMP-Paranaque, said that ‘We ask the local government of Paranaque for a moratorium on demolitions and evictions. There have been recent demolitions in the city which did not follow the procedures laid down in the law.”
Casuy revealed that on March 30 a violent demolition happened at the community of Cherry East Cul de Sac in Barangay Sun Valley, Paranaque that led to the injury of an old woman. “This is a private land inhabited by informal settlers who were illegally evicted without the processes required by law,” he clarified.
On the same day another demolition occurred at the back of the Lorenzana area at the Coastal Road in San Dionisio, Paranaque. Some 76 families were illegally evicted by the Philippine Reclamation Authority, the former Public Estates Authority, and another ten families are still threatened with demolition.
Casuy demanded that the relocation be provided to the displaced urban poor. The protesters brought with them placards with the messages “Moratorium sa Demolisyon at Ebiksyon, Ipatupad!” and “Marahas na Demolisyon at Ebiksyon, Ipatigil!”
Salvacion Hortilano the representative of the victims of violent demolition at the back of Lorenza said, “We ask Mayor Jun Bernabe and the City Council for a dialogue so they can hear our demands. If Lot 5155 in the coastal road is already under the jurisdiction of the City Government of Paranaque, we ask that a parcel of land be provided for the benefit of the informal settlers and not just of the few favored contractors of this administration.” She added, “What is the value of infrastructure projects funded by government money if the poor do not benefit from it?”
AMP is a coalition of urban poor organization in Metro Manila, Southern Tagalog and Central Luzon that is campaigning for a moratorium on demolitions, reforms in the housing policy and housing security of informal settlers. AMP is a participant in a consultation process initiated by a task force on housing headed by Secretary Jesse Robredo of the Department of Interior and Local Government. An output of the consultation process was an executive summary of urban poor demands and a draft order instituting a moratorium that has been forwarded to Malacanang.
Casuy explained that “All these demolitions and evictions are happening due to the fact that a draft executive order for a moratorium remains unsigned by PNoy. The more that PNoy delays signing the draft moratorium order, the more urban poor with be denied the right to decent and secure housing. Akala naming kami ang boss ni PNoy pero bakit wala siyang aksyon sa aming kahilingan at di niya tinototoo ang kanyang pangako?”###