Guv vows to help evicted families in Lugait-A A +A
Friday, December 6, 2013
LUGAIT, Misamis Oriental – Governor Yevgeny Vincente Emano vowed on Thursday to help the displaced families, even as efforts to negotiate with the claimant of the disputed land didn’t prosper.
Emano wanted to persuade the claimant, Emma Añora, through her lawyer to extend the eviction schedule for two months to prepare the relocation site of the displaced families.
Añora's lawyer failed to see Emano after two meeting attempts Thursday.
After an hour of waiting in the Lugait mayor’s office, Emano’s effort turned out to be unsuccessful since Añora’s lawyer didn’t showed up.
Emano immediately returned to the demolished site and told residents that Lugait Mayor Willie Lim opted to give them a one-hectare relocation site which is yet to be determined and bought.
The relocation site will come from the local government unit budget.
But the spontaneous response of the victims to the relocation issue was dismissive.
“Before they (LGU) promised a relocation site but the area was a slope. They should also consider that the source of income of the people is fishing and they should not reside far from the shore,” said Calixto Daganan.
“We became squatter in our own country,” Daganan added.
Later on Thursday, Añora’s lawyer requested to see the governor in Cagayan de Oro. However, when Emano reached the city, he was told Añora’s lawyer was back in Iligan.
According to Emano, Añora did not show up despite his request for a formal talk and further negotiation regarding the alarming situation in Calangahan.
“I am the governor and yet she did not face me,” Emano said.
“It appears that she doesn’t want to meet since the meeting was set at 3 p.m., but I want this to be settled so there should be no delay,” Emano added.
“They (police officers) did not even respect my request to stop the demolition so violence could be avoided,” he added.
Misamis Oriental Provincial administrator Jun Pacamalan returned to Lugait on Thursday evening to oversee the situation and ease the tension.
“Governor Emano ordered the medical and social welfare heads to setup the temporary evacuation center in case the eviction will be enforced anytime,” he told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro.
Emano requested Police provincial director Leonilo Cabug to ensure that the bloody incident will not be repeated.
“The governor does not intend to question the legality of the eviction, but it is his responsibility to ensure bloodshed must never happen. So, he urged the police to handle the eviction with utmost care and respect to human lives.”
The demolition on Wednesday resulted to the death of Nixxon Tungao and the wounding of six others including a one-year-old baby after it suffocated from a teargas that was allegedly lobbed by the demolition team to break the picket line of the residents.
“They (police officers) are ruthless. They don’t have a heart. They have no respect for the governor’s presence as they continue to threaten us,” Lubguban said.
MisOr mulls filing charges
On Wednesday around 100 policemen allegedly demolished the villagers’ dwellings based on a court-issued joint decision in civil case no. 007-2008.
“If they will proceed with their plans, I will never stop until they will go to jail and be removed,” said Emano while talking to the demolition victims.
Jovito Jabagat, president of Alyansa ng mga Biktima sa Demolisyon sa Calangahan (Albidec) told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro City that the group is with the governor in his plans to file charges against the perpetrators.
“That is good so the residents in here can have justice over what happened,” he said.
Jabagat added they are hoping that the governor will do what he said to the demolition victims.
“That way, justice will be given to the residents who lost their homes and loved ones,” Jabagat said.
He added that a case should also be filed in the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to the perpetrators regarding the children who were aggrieved during the demolition.
Respect the law
Emano said the law should be respected and the province through its legal team will study on the cases that can be filed against the perpetrators of the demolition.
If the representative of the Achondoa Agro-industrial Corporation will continue to harden herself and will not pull out the police officers, Emano said they will be included in the case especially that a resident died Wednesday who was just defending his home.
As to the charges that will be filed against the perpetrators, Emano said: “This is a peaceful province.”
He added that if the perpetrators can ruin the peace and order of the province, the legal team will study possible cases that will be filed against them in the future.
Emano added he is hoping that the demolition team will implement its demolition peacefully.
“Because if it is not then I will file cases against the sheriff and even to the members of the police,” added Emano.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on December 06, 2013.