Warwicks fire victims accuse CPA of driving them away

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Saturday, February 15, 2014


SOME 50 families who are victims of the fire in Sitio Warwick Barracks, Barangay Ermita and are temporarily staying at the tents installed at the entrance of South Road Properties (SRP) are seeking City Hall’s help.

This, after personnel from the Cebu Port Authority (CPA) allegedly told them to leave the area since the City does not own the lot they are occupying.

The families went to Cebu City Hall and discussed the matter with Mayor Michael Rama.
Rama said the families told him the warning was made verbally.

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Asked if the CPA still claims ownership of the more than 42,000-square-meter vacant lot at the back of City Hall, where the old Compaña Maritima building stands, Rama said he didn’t want to discuss it as of the moment.

“We will not complicate the matter. They will claim it because of the boardwalk. We are claiming the boardwalk,” Rama told reporters.

Ownership

The ownership of the lot has yet to be resolved until now.

The City earlier questioned the pronouncement of the CPA that they have the authority to take possession of the disputed area, including the Compaña Maritima lot, as provided for under the Republic Act 7621, or the CPA charter.

Manage, operate

Section 9 of the law says that it is the power and function of the CPA to manage, operate, improve, develop and govern the activities of all the ports within its territorial jurisdiction.

The City earlier pointed out that the area is no longer a port.

Rama had asked Ermita Barangay Captain Felicisimo Rupinta, former councilor Edwin Jagmoc, Prevention Restoration Order Beautification (Probe) chief Raquel Arce and Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) chief, Ester Concha to meet with him to discuss the matter.

Rama also wants to discuss with lawyer Collin Rosell the issue on relocation since the affected families, who are mostly dwellers at the Warwick Barracks can no longer stay in the area.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 15, 2014.

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