Makati residents in demolition violence to face criminal raps-A A +A
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
MANILA -- The Makati City government will file charges against the residents of Guatemala Street in Barangay San Isidro who were involved in the violence that ensued during the clearing operations on Monday.
Makati City Mayor Junjun Binay said a number of criminal charges are now being prepared to be filed against leaders of the Guatemala Neighborhood Association led by its president, Nilo Ojos.
Eight individuals who were caught red-handed by the Makati police were already arrested and detained.
The charges to be filed against Ojos and the eight arrested individuals will include assault, physical injuries, and damage to government property.
"We are determined to hold accountable those who have instigated the violence and lawlessness in the area and bring them to justice. From the outset, we have followed the law to the letter and fully complied with due process in handling the matter," said Binay.
The city mayor added that the affected residents "had no reason to resort to violence" since they were given "ample time" to relocate voluntarily.
The demolition efforts on Monday resulted in violence when residents threw rocks, broken glass bottles, Molotov bombs, and even human waste that injured 27 people including 13 policemen, 11 personnel of the city engineering department, one public safety officer, a media worker, and two Guatemala residents.
Some government vehicles and equipment were also damaged, including patrol cars, fire trucks and police shields.
Binay also dismissed claims of Ojos and of a militant group that the offered relocation site in Calauan had no sufficient facilities and resources, such as, water supply, electricity and livelihood programs.
He said if such claims were true, then there would be no relocatees left in Calauan, which has been a relocation site of Makati since 2007.
The mayor added that there are currently 977 families living in the said area.
"Such an oft-repeated line is typical of professional squatters who make a living out of using government properties," Binay said.
Meanwhile, authorities are also reviewing the possible violations allegedly committed by policemen during the recent demolition.
Senior Superintendent Datumama Mokalid Al Hadj, National Capital Region Police Office-Regional Human Rights Affairs Office chief, said a video of the violent demolition recorded by their personnel is now in their possession.
The police official added that they will be submitting an initial report on the matter to higher authorities. (Emmanuel Louis Bacani/Sunnex)