29 hurt, 9 arrested in Quezon City demolition

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014


POLICE said the clash between the informal settlers and demolition teams in Quezon City left 29 people injured and nine others were arrested.

The dismantling of shelters, which started Monday, were marked with violence as residents of Sitio San Roque in Agham Road, Quezon City tried to oppose the demolition of their shanties.

Senior Superintendent Procopio Lipana of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) said the persons arrested were caught throwing bottles, petrol bombs and human waste wrapped in plastic bags at authorities.

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Members of militant groups Anakbayan and Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) asked the QCPD to free the nine arrested persons, saying that they were just assisting the transfer of the children and toddlers to a safe place.

Voltaire Alcantara, team leader of the demolition team, said that they were only following the order of the law.

"Binigyan na sila ng notice last year pa," he said.

But Sitio San Roque resident Rommel Ramirez said that the notice given to them had been forfeited in November last year.

Other residents also complained of the relocation site and compensation offered to them.

Rigoberto Rios, a resident, admitted having received P15,000 in exchange of vacating their area. His family was relocated in San Jose del Monte in Bulacan but was forced to go back to Quezon City.

"Mahirap maghanap ng hanap-buhay doon, hindi ko alam kung saan ako kukuha ng ibibigay at ipapakain sa pamilya ko kaya napilitan kaming bumalik," Rios said.

Another resident who refused to be identified said she was given P25,000 for her family to transfer in a resettlement site but eventually left their new home in Bulacan due to lack of water supply.

Marietta Mojico, a store owner, shared the same sentiment.

Her family and other relatives also accepted the relocation packages but after a couple of weeks they returned due to lack of livelihood and income in the new community.

Mojico appealed to President Benigno Aquino III and to the concerned government agencies to provide stable livelihood for the recipients of the resettlement sites to discourage them from returning to their former community.

Hundreds of informal settlers held a protest march last year from Barangay Bagong Pag-asa to the Quezon City Hall to oppose the demolition of the houses in Sitio San Roque. (Sunnex)

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