Demolition postponed

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012


RESIDENTS of North San Juan in Agdao welcomed Wednesday’s postponement of the demolition of at least 35 houses.

"Unta dili na gyud madayon kay luoy kaayo mi, mawala pati panginabuhian namo (I hope the demolition will not push through because we would lose even our means of livelihood)," a woman, who refused to be named, told Sun.Star Davao.

The woman's house is among the 35 houses that are to be demolished after the court denied their motion for cancellation.

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Residents said the registration of the Davao Resources Corporation (DRC), the land owner, was already revoked in 2003; hence, the latter has no right to vacate them from the area.

In a four-page order dated March 5, Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) branch 3 Silverio Mandalupe said the revoked status of the corporation "does not in any way affect the substance of the judgment and renders its execution inequitable."

In a text message to Sun.Star Davao on Wednesday, Sheriff Edgardo Hofileña said the scheduled demolition was reset since there was no "go signal" yet for police assistance.

Earlier, some North San Juan residents protested the supposed implementation of writ of demolition on October 20, 2011 by throwing Molotov bombs at the sheriff and other court representatives tasked to demolish houses.

To prevent chaos, Chief Inspector Cesar Cabuhat, chief of Sta. Ana police, said they have already mapped out security plans during the demolition.

Cabuhat added they are still waiting for the court order for request for security assistance.

He earlier said that some rules for engagement during a demolition, which he referred to as an operational procedure, were crafted after the controversial punching incident between Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and sheriff Abe Andres in Soliman, Agdao last year.

Hofileña said the postponement of the demolition could have stemmed from unverified reports that hundreds of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) members are moving in to prevent the demolition.

Hofilena earlier said there are talks that the "MNLF rescue team" allegedly transported through a sea vessel is now preparing to defy the demolition order.

Agdao Centro village chief Rene Estorpe, however, denied this report.

"The residents themselves are organizing in groups like they did in the first attempt of demolition," Estorpe said.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 27, 2012.

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