Landowner thanks Duterte for arrest of squatting pro-A A +A
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
THE owner of the 3.5 hectare-land claimed by alleged professional squatters led by Manolito Gavas on Tuesday said she is thankful for Davao City Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte who ordered the arrest of the respondents.
"I appreciate very much your help. I am thankful for persons like you. God bless you always," said Victoria Reformina, landowner of Victoria Village, Barangay Matina Aplaya, Davao City.
Gavas was arrested by a team led by Superintendent Dionisio Abude, chief of the Talomo police station, around 10 a.m. on Monday in the land they were claiming as theirs.
In his Sunday show Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa, the vice mayor warned Gavas to vacate the area and stop his illegal doings or he would be ordering his arrest.
In an interview with Sun.Star Davao Tuesday, Reformina, who is residing in the United States, said she came to the city for personal reason when her security personnel reported the incident.
She said they have assigned people to secure the area and prevent other people from entering their land even before the demolition took place in 2009.
Reformina said it was difficult to control the alleged professional squatters since the security people she assigned were not there to arrest trespassers, but to serve as the owner's "eyes and ears" only.
She said the land was awarded to them after 23 years of litigation before a local court against former informal settlers.
"Upon being informed of the incident, we immediately reported it to police authorities but they failed to act on it until on Sunday when vice mayor broadcasted it," she said.
Reformina, together with his counsel and the Talomo police, filed multiple complaints before the City Prosecution Office against Gavas and other 30 people.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 11, 2012.