Court issues TRO vs village demolition-A A +A
Thursday, July 26, 2012
A TEMPORARY restraining order (TRO) sought by eight residents of Barangay 7 has put on status quo the demolition of their houses, while others have started to voluntarily demolish their houses that block the area intended for the road lot at 15th Lacson Street.
A petition for the issuance of a TRO and writ of preliminary prohibitory injunction was filed by Gilberto Lagaras, Anabella Exodus and Mercedes Base, Enriquita and Henry Maalat, Susan Arquisola, Elena Quidato and May Rivera of 15th Street, Barangay 7, against the City of Bacolod represented by Mayor Evelio Leonardia before the Regional Trial Court (RTC).
With this, the RTC issued a TRO Tuesday to stop the City Government from demolishing structures of residents in Purok Magnolia, Barangay 7.
The petitioners said they are beneficiaries of the financing scheme under the Community Mortgage Program (CMP) of the National Government through the National Housing Mortgage and Finance Corp. (NHMFC).
They said that as beneficiaries of the CMP, they have organized and became beneficiaries of the Urban Poor-Purok Magnolia Chapter and that the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) had agreed to sell the property to the association through the CMP program.
The petitioners said the association is now on the final phase preparing all the necessary structural and documentary requirements for the eventual awarding, transfer of ownership and scheme of payment of the members to the NHMFC. Thus, they are now considered occupants with vested rights over their respective occupied area, they said.
In his order dated July 24, 2012, RTC Judge Manuel Cardinal Jr. set the hearing of the application for preliminary prohibitory injunction on Friday.
Lawyer Cesar Beloria, City Legal Enforcement Unit head, said Wednesday they will respect the order of the court. But after the TRO had lapsed, they will proceed with the demolition of the structures along road lots in 15th Street, Barangay 7.
Beloria said that out of the 29 affected families, the 26 who are qualified for relocation have voluntarily demolished their structures.
He said the property, which consists of 17,917 square meters, was claimed to be owned by the GSIS, which subjected it to CMP.
Beloria said he was informed by the officers of the CMP that over 200 residents of Barangay 7 have already filed a petition, because one of the basic requirements for their subdivision plan to be approved is the road access.
The residents are also concerned about fire incidents in the area due to lack of access roads, he said.
Beloria added that it is not true that they are the ones threatening the residents of Barangay 7. They were told that every time the residents voluntarily demolish their structures, someone comes to threaten them, he said. (Carla N. Canet)
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 26, 2012.