Residents watch their homes of many years torn down

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Saturday, March 8, 2014


THIRTY-three-year-old Melchor Abellaneda is among the 157 affected families in demolition in Sitio San Miguel, Barangay Apas, Cebu City.

He said it is painful to see the house he built and lived for 11 years torn down in minutes.

Abellaneda’s house is among the six houses that have so far been demolished by the 200-man wrecking crew since the demolition was implemented last Tuesday.

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In an interview with Sun.Star Cebu yesterday, Abellaneda said he knows his house is built on a property they do not own.

But he believes Aletha Suico-Magat, the owner of Lot 942 and Lot 947, should have the structures demolished because she is not the rightful owner of the property.

Like the other residents, Abellaneda said the property where they live is owned by the Cebu Provincial Government under Executive Order 20 issued on June 9, 1918 by the Office of the Governor General of the Philippines.

Abellaneda said he had lived in Lot 942 since 2003 after losing his job in Davao City. He is originally from Toledo City.

Taxi driver

He came to know the area since it is where his brother lives.

Although his house has been demolished, Abellaneda said he has no plans of going back to Toledo City since he can’t find a job there good enough to feed his family.

“Taxi driver man ko. Kon muadto ko didto, wa koy kitaon. Naa man gyud diri sa syudad ang daghang tawo (My work as a taxi driver is here in the city),” he said.

Abellaneda said he and his family will take temporary shelter at Apas Barangay Complex.

He hopes, though, that the City Government can provide relocation site for them.

Violeta Dalmacion, for her part, doesn’t want to leave her house as it has been her home for more than 30 years.

Dalmacion is a resident of Lot 947 where structures are yet to be demolished.

Dalmacion said she is ready to fight for her house, adding that it is not Magat who is the rightful owner of the lot but the Province.

“Mosukol ko. Wa gyud ko naghuna-huna ron nga ma-demolish mi. Di gyud an nila ma-demolish akong balay (I will fight. They cannot demolish my house),” she said.

She said she is ready to be jailed to protect her home.

Abellaneda and Dalmacion hope the court will issue a temporary restraining order against the demolition.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 08, 2014.

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